Our discussion boards are lighting up this week with a thread in the Design Employment category: Sharon Myoung wonders why there are so few women working as industrial designers, even as enrollment in I.D. programs is trends towards gender parity. Industry veteran, cheerleader and all-around guru (not to mention Core contributor, entrepreneur and, of course, forum moderator) Michael DiTullo concurs, "especially because many corporations and firms would love to hire female industrial designers, self included." In addition to inviting "women in design, both professional and students" to share their experiences, DiTullo also provides a few examples of admirable female designers, from Eileen Gray and Eva Zeisel to his former colleague Amina Horozic.
Role models notwithstanding, the discussion focuses on sociological phenomena regarding the contemporary workplace, as well as related topics such as the changing nature of industrial design practice and size and shape of companies in general. Not only are the firsthand accounts invaluable for their honesty, the designers' hypotheses as to why the field is so disproportionately male are also quite interesting, albeit not exactly scientific.
The discussion on "Women in Industrial Design" isn't exactly lighthearted holiday fare, but it's definitely well worth the read in the spare time afforded by the break. We'd like to extend DiTullo's invitation to any designers who might have something constructive to add to the conversation (as the OP advises, "please omit any negative comments!").
DiTullo wishes he could draw like Kimberly WuDiTullo wishes he could draw like Kimberly Wu
And here's a sampling of Core77 Editorial about the Underrepresentation of Women in Industrial Design:
» Exhibition Looks at Female Auto Designers
» More on GMs Damsels of Design
» GM's Shanghai Design Studio First Female Design Director
» Femme Den: Design for Females Without Pinking and Shrinking
» Design Squad Co-Host on the Underrepresentation of Women