ShEqualities was formed due to the common concern of gender inequalities in the male dominated workplace. According to the Smashing Magazine’s article (Mindiola, 2010), 82% of Web Designers are Male and 18 % are female, however, 66% of the employees stated that there is no gender bias in the industry. Similarly, Swah blog (2011) argues that female graphic designers in college are 50% of the class, whereas in the industry the numbers drop significantly. Only 3% of females reach a position of influence (Swah, 2011).
Digging deeper into gender issues in the creative industries, we came across shocking statistics and facts that started to scare us. One example we came across was ‘Witchsey’ a company co founded by two women, Kate and Penelope. After a few months of starting the company they realised that they were not taken seriously. They were called unprofessional and overly emotional. Most email responses they received were rude and condescending. Kate and Penelope had to think of a quick solution, so they hired Keith who was more assertive and professional. Suddenly, the company kicked off and started to become successful. The truth is, Keith was a fake male partner created to represent the company so that Kate and Penelope could start off their business without the condescending and sexist emails (Psaltis, 2017). Another example of sexism is of the British novelist Joanne Kathleen Rowling. When publishing her first book ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone’ in 1997, Rowling was advised by her publisher to use her Initials instead of her full name so that the book would attract a larger male audience (Lewis, 2016).
Discovering that women have to disguise their gender in order to be successful shocked us. Will this happen to us ? Will our work be valued less because of our gender? Will we ever reach a higher position? We started to brainstorm on how we could address these issues. Firstly, we decided to gather statistics on gender inequality in Ireland. Once we came to the conclusion that it is an issue in Ireland we started to think of what exactly we want to find out. We decided that we want to discover all the factors that contribute to gender inequalities in the work place and how that impacts women. We are hoping that we can raise awareness of these issues to both male and female students that are entering the industry.
Mindiola, J. (2010) ‘Gender Disparities in the designed field’ [Online]. Available at https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/11/gender-disparities-in-the-design-field/ (Accessed 16/10/2017)
Swah (2011) ‘ SOME THOUGHTS ON THE GENDER INEQUALITY IN GRAPHIC DESIGN’ [Online]. Available at http://loveswah.com/2011/07/some-thoughts-on-the-gender-inequality-in-graphic-design/ (Accessed 16/10/2017)
Psaltis, E. (2017). ‘How a fake man helped two women get their start-up off the ground, and prove a point about tech misogyny’ [Online]. Available at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-31/female-entrepreneurs-create-a-fake-male-co-founder/8859282 (Accessed 16/10/2017).
Lews, A. (2016). ‘Here’s why JK Rowling uses her initials instead of her name’ [Online]. Available at http://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/entertainment/a10287947/jk-rowling-initials-instead-real-name/ (Accessed 16/10/2017).