85. Ellie Gordon- Founder, CEO & Designer of Behaivior

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“It’s not hard to stay passionate in your career when your goal is to save and improve people’s lives.”


Tell us a little bit about what a typical day looks like for you.


Each day is very different, but if I have to generalize: I wake up every day between 7-8am, check for work updates (email/slack/messages), meditate, eat vegan breakfast, work from home until 11:30am, work from the office with interns and other team members and collaborators from 12-5pm, attending meetings as needed, go home for dinner, do meditation/yoga/dog walking, work off and on throughout the evening until 11pm or so, then relax until 1am-ish when I go to bed.


How do you stay passionate in your career?


It’s not hard to stay passionate in your career when your goal is to save and improve people’s lives. I’ve always been passionate about social justice issues so the desire and need to make this world better is deeply ingrained within me. If I feel a need to re-engage passion for my work I do some self-care, recall the reasons why I am doing the work and why it’s meaningful.


Did you have a traditional path into tech (i.e.: CS/IT degree transitioned into tech job)?


I started from the design end of things, so not too untraditional in that sense as far as a path into tech, but due to economic circumstances as a millennial graduating while the effects of the recession were very bad, I needed to do additional work in many other areas to make ends meet. I was also interested in exploring different types of work in different fields. Since most design jobs that initially just focused on graphics, marketing materials, and related got combined with more technical positions (web design, front end, UI) I ended up having to teach myself the more technical aspects of those new combined positions that I had only touched on in college. I freelanced since college while doing other work in a plethora of fields, kind of exploring what I liked to do and looking for better and better opportunities. Whenever possible I always stuck to positions where I could be my own boss (at least in some capacity), be in a leadership role, be creative, be flexible, and not have to be in an office all day. Being an entrepreneur is in my nature.


Are there any apps, software, or tools you cannot live without?


Adobe design suite, meditation and mindfulness practices, workflow software/apps


It’s common knowledge that women often face obstacles in the tech industry based on their gender. Have you ever had to deal with this type of experience and if so how did you handle it?


Yes. I experienced sexual harassment and gender discrimination and in those circumstances I reported the individual as soon as possible. Whenever possible, save evidence!


What’s your favorite thing about being a woman in tech?


Being empowered to help others, and more personally, proving to myself and the world that women are badass.


How have you given back to the WIT community?


I strive to actively work with and hire as many women as possible, to try to even out the hiring imbalance in tech.


What is a piece of advice you would give to others wanting to or currently pursuing a career in tech?


Work Life Balance! You WILL get burned out if you’re burning too many midnight candles. In the U.S. we brag about working 12-16 hour days, but then we are often sacrificing our health and happiness in exchange for that. Productivity also goes down with a lack of sleep and health.


Tell us about a time you felt extremely accomplished in the past year.


I felt extremely accomplished when I did my TEDX talk. I was very nervous, but it was a big achievement in my eyes and I was proud to be up on that stage.


Favorite quote:


“All life deserves respect, dignity, and compassion. All life.”