Mind the (Pay) Gap: 53.5% of Designers Are Women

Mind the (Pay) Gap: 53.5% of Designers Are Women

The Design Economy 2018 report highlighted that just 22% of UK designers are women. A bit odd, considering women make up 63% of all…

The Design Economy 2018 report highlighted that just 22% of UK designers are women. A bit odd, considering women make up 63% of all students studying creative arts and design courses at university. It’s a workplace imbalance that cannot be ignored. And let’s not open up Pandora’s box of pay disparity.

Things are improving, but there’s still a lot left to be desired. Even looking through the latest design news to include in this letter, I found articles by Tim, Bob, and Jacob. But where are all the Tinas, Barbs, and Jacquelines? According to the latest Design Census conducted by AIGA and Google, 53.5% of designers are women… and yet women hold just 11% of leadership positions in the design field.

It’s important not only to celebrate female designers, but to highlight the inconsistencies still present in the design workforce. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.


Hot Off The Press

  • Women Make: Earlier this year, indie developer and entrepreneur Marie Denis-Massé launched Women Make. This free online community is a place where the fairer sex can showcase what they’re working on, encourage and support each other, and share useful resources and women-related news. As Marie says herself, “Entrepreneurship is male-dominated. If we want to be seen … we need to stand up and make some noise. Every single one of us can and will shape the future of women entrepreneurship.”
  • You Are TechYEllen Twomey, mother of four and former owner of UX Simplified, aims to plug a mummy-sized hole in the design market, and further the presence of women in tech. How, I hear you cry? Through You Are TechY — a training and coaching website that offers UX courses for beginners and, most recently, a new UX Portfolio course. It’s more than a learning platform or a job search engine. It’s a movement.
  • Black Women in Product Design: Being a woman in design already comes with its own trials and tribulations, but being a woman of colour? Double whammy. Software engineer Lenora Porter aims to help bridge the gap and offer support through her community, Black Women in Product Design“There aren’t many support groups, resources, and sounding boards we can freely use. I decided to create a place just for black women in the design tech career … We exist, we are present and we are growing in numbers!”
  • Pleasure Imagined: Another inspiring lady making waves in the design world is Aurelia Durand, 1 of 12 artists to collaborate with Magnum on their campaign to celebrate ‘small moments of pleasure’, which will see a donation of €250,000 to provide financial support to women cocoa farmers. Aurélia’s illustration forms part of a virtual exhibition of illustrations that transform photographs of now-empty popular city spots into a pastiche of colours, textures, and design.
  • Women Who Design: This Twitter directory of accomplished female designers was founded by design systems manager Jules Forrest, and was awarded 3rd place for Product Hunt’s Diversity and Inclusion Product of the Year. Since its inception, like-minded sister sites such as Latinxs Who Design, Blacks Who Design, and Queer Design Club have popped up to further assist the underrepresented.

design gender-equality user-experience women-in-tech ux

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