I recently read The Design Economy 2018 report published by the Design Council and it got the cogs turning…
There were some obvious results and facts; that digital design now accounts for just over 1 in 3 design roles, and the unquestionable value add that design and design skills bring to the UK economy. What I found much more interesting though was the skew in gender within the industry.
According to the report, women make up 63% of all students studying creative arts and design courses at university, yet 78% of the UK’s design workforce is male (this is higher than the % of men in the wider UK workforce at 53%), and when employed in design, women earn less than their male counterparts. In the Blue Skies office I’m known as the fair police, so this really got me thinking…are those facts really true?
Personally, having recruited in the creative industry for the past 9 years, it would be fair to say that I have spoken to a range of talented creatives, both male and female. However, something that I haven’t noticed myself is a gender pay gap or dominance of men in the design industry, but maybe that’s because I wasn’t really looking or paying attention? As a consultant, we are indiscriminate and purely focused on finding the right creative for the right role, so I’m keen to hear what other design and creative professionals think.
Is there really such a difference in male/female ratio and salary expectations in the industry? If so why? And what can we do about it?