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Ivan's picture

Not enough girls?

From the site She Says:

The world is pretty much half men, half women (give or take Loughborough, which is chock full of rugger buggers). So why are there hardly any females in the creative department of most digital ad agencies? We decided to stop chatting about it and do something – hold events and provide a mentorship programme, where top females in the industry would share their thoughts and help people to either get started or work their way up... All the way to the attractive pay packets, private car parking spaces and buckets of champers at the top.

Is this so? What about your workplace? Creativebits is not purely a digital community, but we are quite technical here. We have quite a good number of female members, but still there are much fewer girls around than boys. 1500 members selected their sex as female vs more than double 3600 members claim to be males. I have no idea why this is the case, because in the advertising agencies and design studios I worked at the ratio was always roughly a healthy 50/50. Whatever the reason is, I welcome the initiative to bring more girls into the industry. Don't you guys?

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

stephanie's picture
518 pencils

From my experience I've found this to be very true. I've worked with women plenty of times, but in most of the workplace experiences I've had, there are about 5-10 men for every one female.

I feel I'm working in the extreme of this at the moment - I work with 6 other GUYS in my department here, and all of them are around 10 years older than I am (not that hard to do, however; I am only 20 years old.) It doesn't bother me, and I was asked if I would be comfortable with it when I was interviewed.

In bigger companies I've worked for I've found the same thing. I find myself with mostly male co-workers, but I've not thought anything of it until now I guess.

If you're a good designer, I don't care what gender you are. They're pretty hard to find as it is. ;)

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Perfectly Lost Designs

Kitty's picture
5 pencils

My office is girls only :) It's a very small design and photography studio, and we are all girls, management and design :)

cbrophy78's picture
177 pencils

The designers for a woman's Celeb/Fashion mag are all men.
Go figure - the editors though are all women. But the editor in chief is male.
Chris Brophy
Iklectek Designs

Chris Brophy
Iklectek Designs
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atomictam's picture
3 pencils

Of the three places I've worked at, mostly male designers especially at the top. Two places were of large dot coms and one small design studio. In college (2000), it seemed like 70% of the design students were female and even a female instructor noted that that ratio was not reflected in [her] the work world. The first place I worked at, there were 3 female designers and 7 males. Guess who got laid off first?

evanr's picture
4 pencils

I am the token male at my office... of course, I work at a magazine about ponies so that's not too surprising.

himynameiznate's picture
16 pencils

While I have no problem with women in the field, and I in fact enjoy a lot of female designers' work, I am always wondering why there are such big push to get women into design?

To be honest, if they want to pursue the career, that's their choice, but having more women for the sake of having more women is a terribly stupid waste of resources and time.

Why spend energy on encouraging women to get to that top level? If men and women are truly the same, the why encourage one gender to join over another?

Again, they're free to do so, but arbitrarily picking one gender to try to push into the field seems like a rather pointless endeavor.

pokie's picture
1217 pencils

I get what you're saying to an extent-- however, why have an ad agency or the like with only guys? Surely, at some point, you're going to need a female perspective. I think to reach your target audience and to have various view points, it's a good idea to have both sexes involved.

natobasso's picture
3951 pencils

I love being asked to design toward a 'female perspective'. What does that mean, exactly? :)

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Powerpoint is not a design application.

atomictam's picture
3 pencils

I have no grudge... ;) and this may be a gratuitous stereotype.... But lets say a boss, a 45 year old male, the creative director, has a choice between two equally talented designers, one female and one male, to promote to senior designer, he is left to choose the person he can more likely relate to. Is it the female who wears the low cut shirts and short skirts or the guy who likes to talk about muscle cars, motorcycles and the rock bands he plays in? Which one will get promoted?

pokie's picture
1217 pencils

It has nothing to do with who they can relate to. It has to do with who does a better job.

atomictam's picture
3 pencils

that it boils down to who does a better job. However, that opinion belongs to the boss. In reality, it does happen where the two designers are equal in every respect except for gender and the boss chooses the designer he feels comfortable working with. In the case that I have witnessed it was the male motorcycle buddy. Unfortunately, since every job I've had I can attest to the brown nosing that goes on. I can also quote the same former boss, "she's cheap for us because she works late and on the weekends" (a month before laying off all the female designers).

Viviane's picture
1 pencil

I worked at a company that had 3.5 women out of 18 employees-- a graphic designer, a bookkeeper, her part-time assistant, and the creative director's assistant (she mostly handled office duties). On the male side: 10 or so designers. That was their best male-female ratio ever. |:-(

The company subscribed to a lad magazine, but wouldn't pay for industry mags. Pornography and jokes and remarks against women and gays were allowed (in an open concept office!) :-O

Today, the firm is close to achieving its perfect male-female ratio of 15-20 men and 0 women: a creative director's assistant and a part-time bookkeeper (who cut her own hours, and gee, I wonder why...). :-P

pokie's picture
1217 pencils

We have 15 artists where I work. 9 are female-6 are male. 1 of said males is the supervisor. And as an aside, we have a manager who is a female (non-artist).

I graduated from college just 3 years ago. The classes were mostly males, especially Flash, Director, etc.. (interactive classes) where I was normally the token female. It seemed like there were more and more females as time went on joining the art department though.

natobasso's picture
3951 pencils

In my experience the 'old boy's club' still reigns supreme and if you aren't part of the management team you are separate from it, and therefore expendable.

My old boss at an entertainment/dvd company was a great designer, great boss but didn't get along with her fellow managers because they wanted her to roll over and play dead when it came to their hair-brained design ideas. She tried to educate them and communicate with them, but could never get around the fact that she wasn't one of them.

Sticking around at a company has as much to do with people liking you as it does with your skills. Look around your workplace (if you are on site) and consider that most of the people there are physically similar. Why? Because human beings like the familiar and don't like change. I noticed yesterday at my new job (started 2 weeks ago) that all the guys have the same type of eyeglasses I do, and a similar look (clean cut and boring, if I do say so myself! Gotta work on that...)

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Powerpoint is not a design application.

spigot's picture
190 pencils

What are "buckets of champers," and do I need them?

http://spigotdesign.com

stephanie's picture
518 pencils

I was wondering that as well, actually.

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Perfectly Lost Designs

mara06's picture
2752 pencils

My experience is that at the higher end of the design business, it's almost exclusively males. In all the years of freelancing I did before opening my own studio, I never once met a female art director, although many agencies were headed or actually owned by women.

Buckets of champers. Wow. And I thought I had everything life has to offer...

Mara

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