WhyDesign is working to address the gender imbalance in the design industry across Ireland, by showcasing influential female Irish designers.

We need WhyDesign because:

  • The Irish design sector is 75% Male (Policy Framework, 2016).
  • Recent Industry research has shown that teams with a male:female ratio of 40:60 are more productive (McKinsey & Company, 2015).
  • Diversity of thought adds huge value and leads to more successful results.
  • Equality is directly linked to performance.

WhyDesign is:

  • Highlighting Irish female designers that we don't hear enough about.
  • A place to share success stories that inspire female second level students to join creative industries.
  • An answer for parents who ask 'Why Design?'
  • A way to encourage more women to join the Irish design workforce.

A letter from Kim Mackenzie-Doyle, WhyDesign founder and IDI President 2017/2018

Being the first female designer hired in Design Partners, where I began my career nearly 20 years ago, was a huge culture shock. Not only was there an age gap of five plus years between my peers and I, there was a very obvious gender gap. Progressively Design Partners were involved in pitches that needed female lead designers. I experienced first-hand the benefits to the studio culture — as the ratio began to change so too did the tone, for the better.

When the opportunity for IDI Presidency came up my immediate thought was in addressing this imbalance, and so WhyDesign was born. Developed alongside co-chair Claire Dowling, a number of dedicated IDI volunteers, and was supported by progressive partners and sponsors. This is the first initiative for the creative industries of its kind in Ireland.

If you would like to help us continue the development of Why Design and come on board as sponsor/partner or to share your story please contact whydesign@IDI-design.ie


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