Mind the (Pay) Gap: 53.5% of Designers Are Women

By Design.

By Design is a fortnightly letter reaching ~170,000 people following the Prototypr publication. Written by Sophie Clifton-Tucker, we unearth unheard voices, and break down the barriers in design and development.

The Design Economy 2018 report highlighted that just 22% of UK designers are women. A bit odd, considering women make up 63% of all students studying creative arts and design courses at university. It’s a workplace imbalance that cannot be ignored. And let’s not open up Pandora’s box of pay disparity.

Things are improving, but there’s still a lot left to be desired. Even looking through the latest design news to include in this letter, I found articles by Tim, Bob, and Jacob. But where are all the Tinas, Barbs, and Jacquelines? According to the latest Design Census conducted by AIGA and Google, 53.5% of designers are women… and yet women hold just 11% of leadership positions in the design field.

It’s important not only to celebrate female designers, but to highlight the inconsistencies still present in the design workforce. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

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Hot Off The Press

  • Women Make: Earlier this year, indie developer and entrepreneur Marie Denis-Massé launched Women Make. This free online community is a place where the fairer sex can showcase what they’re working on, encourage and support each other, and share useful resources and women-related news. As Marie says herself, “Entrepreneurship is male-dominated. If we want to be seen … we need to stand up and make some noise. Every single one of us can and will shape the future of women entrepreneurship.”
  • You Are TechYEllen Twomey, mother of four and former owner of UX Simplified, aims to plug a mummy-sized hole in the design market, and further the presence of women in tech. How, I hear you cry? Through You Are TechY — a training and coaching website that offers UX courses for beginners and, most recently, a new UX Portfolio course. It’s more than a learning platform or a job search engine. It’s a movement.
  • Black Women in Product Design: Being a woman in design already comes with its own trials and tribulations, but being a woman of colour? Double whammy. Software engineer Lenora Porter aims to help bridge the gap and offer support through her community, Black Women in Product Design“There aren’t many support groups, resources, and sounding boards we can freely use. I decided to create a place just for black women in the design tech career … We exist, we are present and we are growing in numbers!”
  • Pleasure Imagined: Another inspiring lady making waves in the design world is Aurelia Durand, 1 of 12 artists to collaborate with Magnum on their campaign to celebrate ‘small moments of pleasure’, which will see a donation of €250,000 to provide financial support to women cocoa farmers. Aurélia’s illustration forms part of a virtual exhibition of illustrations that transform photographs of now-empty popular city spots into a pastiche of colours, textures, and design.
  • Women Who Design: This Twitter directory of accomplished female designers was founded by design systems manager Jules Forrest, and was awarded 3rd place for Product Hunt’s Diversity and Inclusion Product of the Year. Since its inception, like-minded sister sites such as Latinxs Who Design, Blacks Who Design, and Queer Design Club have popped up to further assist the underrepresented.
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Weekly Roundup

Which Design Style Are You?Diana Malewicz, product designer, co-founder of, and author of Designing Interfaces has put together a fun, lighthearted quiz so you can find out what design style best describes you! Split into Skeuomorphism, Neumorphism, Material Design, Soft, and Flat, the prevalence of your most chosen letter should give you a little insight into what makes you, you.

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Design a DashboardThat’s not all Dianas been up to! Last month, she wrote a great step-by-step UI guide, from low-key wireframes to a Dribbble-worthy final product shot. Like what you see? Get your paws on Diana’s snazzy new UI design eBook! 420+ pages of design knowhow and problem-solving techniques. Save 20% with ‘prototypr‘ as the promo code at checkout!

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#Throwback PortfoliosDo you remember your first ever portfolio? (I’d rather not.) Magdalene Huang takes us on a nostalgic, and downright cringeworthy journey back through the iterations of our portfolios, from Behance, to Wix, to PDF, to its resting place — a personal domain. How are you currently showcasing your work?

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Portfolio TrackerWhilst we’re on the topic of portfolios, Zoe Chew 🇲🇾👩‍💻📕 (yep, the same Zoe from our last newsletter) has come up with a nifty way to keep a beady eye on all your side projects, all in one place! Portfolio Tracker v1.0 was built with the intention of: keeping track of projects, blogs, books, highlights, and social links; keep herself accountable, and invite conversation through resource-sharing. In v2.0, Zoe improved on this by adding the option of a bio/profile photo, categories, and selected milestones/interviews to name a few features.

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Available For Hire

Looking to hire or BE hired? Our People page is the place to be. No pressure, but it’s where all the cool kids are hanging out.

In each bi-weekly newsletter, we’ll shine a spotlight on some of the people available for hire that make up our melting pot community.

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Reece Kim • Freelance UX Designer

Linkedin | Website | Prototypr

  • Reece Kim is a multidisciplinary designer based in the Big Apple. Her background is in menswear fashion design, transitioning to UX/UI with a focus on interaction.
  • One of her projects is Julep: a responsive web platform that provides a financial solution for freelancers. Stress-free, seamless, and trustworthy experience for freelancers with multiple streams of income — yes please!
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Sarah Jagrowski • UX Designer

Linkedin | Website | Prototypr

  • If you’re looking for digital products that are functional, simple, and enjoyable to use, Sarah Jagrowski’s your gal. She’s been involved in a number of projects, but my favourite has to be CityPups, a GV design sprint for a dog adoption start-up. Genius!
  • Another of her projects, WaveLength, aims to help you and your roommates “find your groove”, by sending reminder notifications via the iOS app and allows delegation of those pesky house chores.
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Sophie Clifton-Tucker

Editor, UX writer, coding since GeoCities 👾