Karen Holtzblatt

CEO, InContext Design

Karen Holtzblatt is CEO of InContext Design and Research Scientist at University of Maryland’s iSchool. A recognized leader in requirements and design, Karen has pioneered transformative ideas and design approaches throughout her career. She invented Contextual Inquiry and Contextual Design, the industry standard for understanding the customer and organizing that data to drive innovative product concepts. Karen has now turned her focus to the issue of women in high tech companies in order to understand why women leave the field and to provide solutions. Her research and resulting framework describe the core factors in the work environment that women need to achieve success. Together these can help companies and inspire women. As a member of ACM SIGCHI Karen was awarded membership to the CHI Academy a gathering of significant contributors and received the first Lifetime Award for Practice for her impact on the field. Contextual Design is used by companies and universities worldwide. In addition to being a noted author and conference speaker (including many years at CHI) Karen has more than 25 years of teaching experience professionally and in university settings. She holds a doctorate in applied psychology from the University of Toronto.

My Sessions

Fixing the Leaky Pipeline: Retaining High Tech Women Once They’re in the Door

Columbia 5 & 8

As widely reported, the lack of women in high-tech is so striking that companies are actively working to “fill the pipeline.” But this alone won’t solve problems within the team and culture. Once hired, women leave at much higher rates than men. The challenges may be compounded for UX women because they are likely to […]

Future-Forward UX