I did my bachelors in Commerce honors from an all-girls college, so feeling discriminated because of the gender was not a question at all, back in those days. After my graduation, I realized that this is not my cup of tea and took up an eighteen months program in Animation and Graphic Design. I had an almost equal number of male and female students in my class, so was lucky enough to not face any such discrimination.
When I joined my first job on a Television channel, I was the only graphic designer in the company for a very long time so again I didn’t feel any such discrimination. Though at times I got opportunities to work with both male and female designers that didn’t make me feel discriminated. It was when I decided to shift into Web Designing, then is when I started feeling that the design world is very male dominating. I joined there as the second female designer and there were around 12 designers working already, as you can judge the ratio was not very great. But luckily I was never treated any differently because I was a woman but it is interesting to notice that most of the designers already working on the team or were being hired were all male. I didn’t really notice this until recently when I started to increase my web designing skills. Actually, I feel like the whole tech industry specially design is dominated by male designers. I have not collected any statistics over this but its just a perception that I have developed over a period of time as I see more male designers speaking over in conferences, writing and talking confidentially over design. Also, a lot of design discussions that I get to see online come from male designers and there are very few female voices.
By talking about this, I am not trying to attack anyone. It is just my idea and I felt its important to talk about this as diversity is needed and we can all learn from this. Right now in my current job, I am on a very small team, it is me and one more designer who happens to be a male.
I have started to feel that I have been surrounded by so many male designers that my style now looks influenced by them and this gets reflected in my designs. In fact, sometimes I start a design and head towards a direction and then stop myself from doing it, perhaps thinking that this is too feminine and I should be doing something else to make it look more professional. Somewhere in my mind, I had that my professional design cannot be feminine which is not true at all.
After reading and discussing this with a lot of my designer friends now I can strongly believe that Design does not have a gender and this is not something that I should be worrying about.
In this blog post, I just wanted to share my experience as a woman in the design industry and how I got affected by it, not necessarily in a negative way. I would really like to know your choice of female designers if any in the comments below.
I would like to name my favorite Designer Carolyn Davidson, the designer of one of the most famous logos of all times, Nike.