Design's gender problem, and what you can do about it

Kerning The Gap advertisement with text that says 'the equality network for the design industry'
(Image credit: Kerning The Gap)

International Women's Day reminds us all of the gender inequality that affects many of us every day. And if you think that design is immune from such biases, you'd be wrong. According to Creative Equals, only 17 per cent of creative directors are female. But unlike some other industries, design doesn't have a problem attracting women – approximately 60 per cent of junior designers are female. This suggests there's a problem within the industry – in retaining, promoting and nurturing female designers.

But is this really what's going on? How do such statistics affect those working in the industry? What impact do they have on design thinking, and subsequently, the work created? After all, it's no secret that sexist ad campaigns still exist. And perhaps most importantly, what can be done? We spoke to a range of creatives to get under the skin of the issue and find out what practical measures we can all take to challenge the status quo. 

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Rosie Hilder

Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Deputy Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where she worked as Deputy Editor of Time Out Buenos Aires – she moved back to the UK and joined Future Plc in 2016. Since then, she's worked as Operations Editor on magazines including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw and Mac|Life. In 2018, she joined Creative Bloq, where she now assists with the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure our content serves the reader as best it can.