Some time ago, we wrote the polemic article “70 designers that shaped the world”. After suggestions, we made the “Another 30 designers that shaped the world”. One thing that called attention was the few women present on the lists. Looking at the 100 designers, only 8 were women – among them, Eileen Gray, Zaha Hadid, Jean Muir, Vivienne Westwood, Irma Boom, Matali Crasset, Ray Eames e “Coco” Chanel. Is there any prejudice with women? Are there more male or female designers on the market? Does the gender really make a difference?
We can obviously conclude that something is wrong. Either women can’t work as well as men (which we know it’s not correct) or women are treated different than men for work. Women have been treated as subordinates since prehistory, it’s understandable that it wouldn’t change suddenly. But it’s not suddenly anymore, it has passed about six thousand years since prehistory.
Today I can see in the market that some companies choose designers considering the gender, most times in these cases, they rather man. One of the reasons for that is that they claim woman to be more sensitive or unstable (like having difficult to deal with criticism). Also, this is a subjective matter. Both men and women can have this kind of problem. I’ve heard about women that was rejected for a job just for being a woman or even got the job, but with a lower salary then the men’s.
On the other hand, sometimes they say a female touch is required. I myself have gone through a job interview on which they preferred me because I’m a girl and there were only man at the agency. They said they needed a female sensitivity, softer layouts and fresh delicate ideas. Again, it’s too subjective. A good designer does any kind of work, delicate, grungy, dark, light.
I’m not being feminist, we know that men and women are different and it’s natural. But both have the same capacity to do the same job without interferences caused by the gender. We must think that each person is different – there are good male designers and good female designers. And it’s hard to believe that in the XXI century there is still discrimination for woman. I seriously hope it will be gone in a near future.
What about you? As a woman, have you ever gone by some problem (or advantage) at the job just for being a woman? As a man, have you ever seen any kind of female discrimination? I told you how I feel about this issue, now tell me your experiences and opinions.