Elodie Lepaludier is a senior Industrial Designer at the LEGO group. She works in the department of Product and Technology, where she is Design Lead in technological projects. She works together with LEGO retail and LEGO Education to develop LEGO technology elements. Her team is made of talented Designers, Mechanical, Hardware, and Software engineers.
As a Design Lead, she is responsible for the physical design of the LEGO Technology elements. She works closely with multiple stakeholders to secure that product, user, and portfolio needs are translated into a feasible LEGO design that integrates a broad array of aspects, such as product roadmaps, usability, modularity, engineering, visual expression, etc.
Elodie is passionate about new technologies. She believes that - through play - children can build a fundamental understanding of technology and develop skills that will benefit them later on in their life. Learning through play is not only a fun way to learn but also a way to make the knowledge stick and see creative ways of applying it.
She talked on the topic during the WomenTech Global Conference 2020. You can meet more inspiring speakers at the WomenTech Global Conference 2021.
Especially for the WomenTech Network, Elodie agreed to give an interview to one of our Global Ambassadors, Puja Chaudhury.
1. What was it like to talk at the conference?
Really good. It was a very well organized event and the guidelines very clear. I really enjoyed the talk from Lieke Ypma.
2. How did you prepare for the big day?
I made a power point presentations with some visuals. I have a visual memory so I wrote down my speech several times and I rehearsed speaking it a few weeks before the event to have a more natural flow.
3. How important do you think organizations like womenTech is for women in STEM?
It is extremely important!
When developing STEM people with different backgrounds and genders should be involved in the process so that at the end of the day the product developed can relate to a wide range of people.
I found that it was very inspiring to hear so many women on various subjects.
4. Any advice you would like to give to young girls about pursuing their dreams?
“Do it”! No one will tell you what to do or how. The best way to make it happen is to try different angles to get closer to it.
“Dreams” is also a world full of hopes and wishes. I prefer the word “drive”. What drives you, interests you? Want do you have fun doing or want to know more about. I believe that you have a stronger influence on making your job a “dream job” better than anyone else. So some actions have to be taken for it to fit you better.
When being a student, I found that visiting various schools, talking to students and teachers can give a better understanding of the job possibilities and the areas that will be the focus on the studies. When out of school it can also be difficult to know where to start and what to do. To me having various internships in companies helped a lot. It is a great chance to try out options before getting engaged in one direction. Knowing what doesn't fit you is also interesting because it closes down some options and this allows you to narrow it down to what you actually want to do. Passions and interests can change during life and there is no perfect path; it's an ongoing development.
5. Can you tell something about "learning through play?"
To me is it essential for any people, in any age group. It is a nice way to experiment, get curious, try and fail. The learning stick in our memories easier that way. We need to adapt the teaching tools to fit the people and the way their brains works. The more you had pleasure doing something the more you want to do it again. So why not having fun while learning?
6. What difficulties have you faced till now, being a woman in Tech?
It has not been difficult for me to work as a woman in technology but we are still a minority.
Diversity is important and should be embraced even more in today’s world. Tech might have been in the past a more masculin area but is is changing now. I believe that involving diversity in the design process, in the teams working on those new technologies can allow a better design and user experience.
7. How has it been working for Lego Technologies? What is the process of coming up with so many new ideas?
It is an amazing place to work. I feel very lucky to be a part of the technology department.
I enjoy that people come from different background and together we have to get a commun language to bring to life technological LEGO components.
8. It's not easy to stay motivated when others don't believe in us. How do you navigate through the stages of self-doubt?
I believe that the most important is believing in yourself and not expected people to believe in you.
I made a rule for myself that whatever scares me I have to go towards it. It can be climbing a mountain, doing a big presentation or share an other point of view with someone. Lot of the times the doubt is stronger than the risk you are taking. I realized that the only risk I was taking when challenging myself to learn more. Knowledge is a great tool to get more confident. I like to talk with people that inspire me.
9. Is "financial independence" too hyped or is it genuinely a measure of self-worth?
It’s such a nice feeling when you can turn your passion into your work. We spend a lot of hours per day working so i believe that if you can make your work into something that interest you there you have it!
You’re enjoying this interview thanks to our devoted Global Ambassador
Puja Chaudhury. She is a senior year undergrad pursuing electrical engineering. She is passionate about neural networks, data science, and machine learning and wants to do in-depth research about it in the future.