This year my studio, White Bear, proudly sponsors WhyDesign.WhyDesign
is an initiative set up by the IDI
to showcase influential female designers who live and work in Ireland, with the aim of encouraging more women to enter, progress and thrive in the design industry.
As a founder and creative director, I want to share a short note about why ‘WhyDesign’ resonated with me on a personal level, apart from the obvious…being a female in design (doh!).
What a year 2018 was for women eh? ‘Times Up’ taking a stand in Hollywood, BBC pay gaps
being exposed in the UK and the 8th amendment being repealed in Ireland. At the same time one Irish Creative Director embarked on her first expedition into working parenthood with no guidebook and no sleep, just equipped with the quiet confidence that she can craft a nicely kerned SOS on her insta story should all else fail, useful? No. I was not trained for this.
We signed up to sponsor WhyDesign last year but it was only last Monday night, or should I say Tuesday morning, at 4.30am, sitting on the floor of Dublin airport on route to a pitch in Birmingham, unable to go through security as my body just said a hard ‘NO’ that I not only realised but truly felt why the design industry has a problem on their hands.
With an inner voice screaming ‘enough is enough, don’t get on the flight, you’re on antibiotics, you’ve had 1.5 hours sleep because of a teething, sick baby, you’re meant to be on annual leave, get a taxi home, fill a hot water bottle and get back into bed’ that I realised being a woman, a mother, a creative director and a business owner is bloody tough work.
This is WHY
there aren’t more of us, women, in the design community, this is WHY
we need to help each other and this is WHY
support from the likes of WhyDesign and the IDI is so important. I know balancing work and life is not the single reason why only 11% of creative directors are women but currently this is the reason that resonates the most with me. I did, in the end get up and get on that flight for an 18 hour round trip, Why? Because I love and believe in what I do and that's why I design.