This project is a showcase of influential female designers who live and work in Ireland.

Today the Irish design sector is 25% Female to 75% Male (Policy Framework, 2016). This ratio is simply not good enough. Gender balance was the last item on the last page of the Policy framework for Design Enterprise in Ireland. It’s time to change this.

Why WhyDesign?

Teams with a male to female ratio of 40-60% are more productive and have more sustained results than unbalanced teams (McKinsey & Company, 2015).

There is proof all around us that diversity of thought adds huge value and more successful results. It’s more than a moral imperative, equality has a direct link to performance.

WhyDesign is;

A showcase of Irish female designers that we don't hear enough about.

A place to share a little of these success stories so that they might inspire female second level students to take a leap into the creative industries.

An answer to the parents who ask 'Why Design?'

A way to encourage more female participation in the Irish Design work force.

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


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