Advice for Female Fixers from the Women of iFixit

March is Women’s History Month and today is International Women’s Day—a day to celebrate the achievements of women all over the world. This year’s theme, #EachforEqual, is a reminder that we’re each responsible for ourselves, but together we can help create a gender-equal world.

At iFixit, our goal is to teach everyone to fix everything—and we mean everyone. Anybody can learn to replace a screen, swap a battery, or even do board-level repairs. All it takes is someone to show you how. 

The reality is, though, that the tech world isn’t completely equal yet. At iFixit, 25% of our employees are women, so we’ve definitely got room for improvement. Help us change that by applying to one of our open positions!

As the e-waste stream continues to grow, we can’t afford to cut anyone out of the conversation.  Everyone deserves to have access to the parts, tools, and knowledge they need to fix their stuff. Here are some of the women who are making repair—and the tech industry— more equal.

Cynthia Replogle: General Counsel

Cynthia in a cat costume, holding a cat.

Superpower: X-ray vision to see through a pile of trivia and zero in on what’s important.
Advice for other female fixers: Believe in yourself, speak up, and persist!
Favorite repair: Recently I fixed a leaky seal on a wine barrel I converted to a rain barrel.

Raven McDaniel: Software QA

Raven surrounded by stuffed animals.

Hobbies: Read, write, play story-based games, and anything involving creating or consuming stories.
Advice for other female fixers: The first computer programmer ever was a woman: Ada King Lovelace
Favorite repair: I rebuilt a media PC that is powerful enough to be a backup gaming PC just in case I ever need one.

Sam Lionheart: Opinion-Haver in Chief

Sam getting ready to take apart an iPhone

Superpower: Usually I’d say “sewing” or “snark” but I’m growing a human right now which is pretty cool.
Advice for other female fixers: Own it. Seriously, get comfortable speaking up and having loud opinions and fake confidence ’til it feels real. Don’t feel like you can’t ask questions, you should!
Favorite repair: I thought of a cool electrical workaround for short wires that I was pretty proud of.

Kelsea Weber: Outreach Assistant Manager

Kelsea in front of the iFixit logo

Hobbies: Long walks on the beach with my pup and car karaoke every day!
Advice for other female fixers: Remember, you are not alone! Even the most famous and experienced women in the industry struggle with what you struggle with.
Favorite repair: My favorite teardown was the Apple HomePod. The tweeters looked like little birdies!

Sandra Hiller: Translation and Community Team Lead

Sandra eating something sour

Barriers you’ve encountered as a woman in tech: Customers asking to speak to one of the male employees
Advice for other female fixers: Back in the days it was “try harder, be faster and better than your male colleagues and show them all!” I hope there’s been some kind of change in the meantime and my younger fellow female colleagues don’t feel obliged to do that any more.
Favorite repair: Huawei P20 screen replacement

Mem Rogers: Warehouse Lead and Shipping Helper

Mem holding a power symbol

Superpower: Baking delicious treats for my teams!
Advice for other female fixers: Don’t be afraid to work hard. Also, be yourself! Make sure you are standing up for the things you believe in. Advocating for yourself is important for any career.
Favorite repair: My Playstation and Xbox repairs felt harder than they were, but I was super happy when the lights came on and they worked after the repair.

Kay-Kay Clapp: Boss Witch/Queen of Content

Kay-Kay dressed as Pikachu, holding two pickachus

Superpower: I am a descendant of Baby Yoda
Barriers you’ve encountered as a woman in tech: I’ve received my fair share of “you don’t belong here.”
Advice for other female fixers: No matter what, someone will always interpret your “nice” as flirty. Your “direct” as bossy. The sooner you can get comfy with being unapologetically you, the better. People respect and trust authenticity—so be bold and wear that onesie to work.

Megan Costello: Parts Testing Assistant Lead

Megan in front of the iFixit logo

Barriers you’ve encountered as a woman in tech: Every time I try to fix something on my car, and am treated like I’m just the errand girl for my husband. Uh, no, I’m the one changing my brakes, thanks.
Advice for other female fixers: Just keep persisting. Turn a blind eye to the skeptics, ’cause if you let it get to you, then you’ll be your own hindrance.
Favorite repair: I repair our family’s clothing most often—I refuse to let it die!

Sarah Westberg: EDU Aide

Sarah smiling at a restaurant

Hobbies: I like thrifting and antiquing, going on a walk someplace pretty and a good movie or show.
Advice for other female fixers:  Don’t let lack of experience stop you, if you’re interested, give it a try. You can learn!
Favorite repair: The Asus Chromebook C300SA-DS02 Motherboard Replacement, it was one of my first fixes!

Yuting Zhao: Mandarin Chinese Translator/Media Manager

Yuting in front of the iFixit logo

Hobbies: Hiking, dancing, and traveling

Advice for other female fixers:  Be flexible and courageous. Advocate for yourself!

Favorite repair: Flooring and roof

Katie Peña: I ship things!

Katie smiling in the kitchen

Barriers you’ve encountered as a woman in tech: Mansplaining, or women thinking they can’t do tech or repair because it’s “for men”. It’s not. Keep doing it.

Advice for other female fixers:  Just keep doing it! The stigmatism, and stereotypes of women not knowing, or not wanting to know how to fix stuff can be eradicated.

Michaela Joerger: Customer Support Representative

Michaela with tiny hands

Hobbies: Reading, running, yoga, going to coffee shops when I already have coffee at home, rollerblading, listening to podcasts, thrifting and working on local farms when I have time.
Advice for other female fixers:  The tech world is more community-oriented than one might think. It’s important to find your community in order to be challenged and to grow.
Favorite repair: The first time getting into my iPhone 6 to change the battery was nerve-wracking due to all the tiny components and the delicate nature of the repair but ending up with a successful repair was a wonderful feeling.

Tiffani Vela: Inventory Associate

Tiffani grinning in a field

Superpower: Being a super mama to 5 amazing children

Advice for other female fixers: Take any project one step at a time and be patient 🙂

Favorite repair: iPhone SE connector Port

Kristen Gismondi: Education Facilitator

Kristen holding a vinyl in front of the iFixit logo

Hobbies: Read, cook, go to concerts, make arts and crafts, and snuggle with my cat Ziggy.
Barriers you’ve encountered as a woman in tech: Needing to work twice as hard for people to take me seriously.
Advice for other female fixers: Know that other women in tech have experienced the same struggles and setbacks. You’re not alone! Immerse yourself in a community of people who support and encourage each other.

Mariana Roca: Spanish Translator and Community Leader

Mariana smiling in a garden

Hobbies: Read, write, hike, draw

Advice for other female fixers: Keep pushing… do not give up.

Favorite repair:  I fixed my daughter’s iPad

Marina Weber: Official kitchen coordinator, unofficial sous chef

Marina posing in front of the iFixit logo

Superpower: Taking my dog out at 7 am every morning
Advice for other female fixers: Speak up, be assertive, tell people what you want
Favorite creation:  Probably that blood orange, beet, goat cheese soup

Dorothea Kessler: EU Communications Manager

Dorothea smiling in the city

Hobbies: Video games are my guilty pleasure. I also love being in nature, cooking, reading and creating stuff.
Advice for other female fixers: Stay self-conscious and curious, don’t be afraid to fail.
Favorite repair:  I recently fixed the loose middle rack in my parents’ oven.

Jen Wiens: Company Chef

Superpower: Making food magically appear
Advice for other female fixers: You can always keep learning even if it’s out of your comfort zone!
Favorite repair:  I rewired my space heater last year—it still works!

Bettina Mayer: EU Administration/HR

Bettina smiling with a giant bear

Hobbies: dancing, reading books, movies, art, theatre

Advice for other female fixers: Be yourself and use your superpower 🙂

Favorite repair:  Zipper of my favorite jacket

Midori Doi: Japanese PR/Translator

Midori in Japan

Superpower: Commitment to tasks
Advice for other female fixers: I believe building communication will fill gaps between us and technology, and between us and people.
Favorite repair:  I’m always mending Calico Critters’ costumes for my girls.

Kelly Boss: HR/Office Manager, aka Doer of All the Things

Kelly getting ready for a hike

Hobbies: Hiking, baking, beaching, and adventuring with my kids
Advice for other female fixers: Believe in yourself! You are smarter than you think and can learn anything. There are lots of needs and opportunities in the tech field that aren’t necessarily “tech-based” that are equally important.
Favorite repair:  I resurrected an old iPod that housed several nostalgic playlists from years ago!

Olivia Webb: PR/Advocacy/Social Media/TikTok Guru

Olivia smiling in a forest

Superpower: Harry Potter trivia and making $2000 tacos
Advice for other female fixers: Take every opportunity to learn a new skill or get involved, and speak up when people doubt you!
Favorite repair:  I learned how to de-shield a motherboard for our Galaxy S20 Ultra teardown!