In response to the various letters about female product designers, I would like to offer the employed female product designer’s perspective.
I work for Smallfry Industrial Design, which has a 50:50 male/ female staff ratio. This said, each individual gains their position within the team on personal merit.
No doubt, there are many female designers out there struggling to find work. But being female can be a huge advantage to advance to that all important interview stage.
I found potential employers eager to interview females. Most seemed keen to achieve an alternative perspective to their male dominated team, as Peter Tennent suggests (Letters, DW 17/12/99).
To graduate designers struggling to gain employment, I say no experience is no excuse. Your destiny is in your own hands. Create your own opportunities. Maybe people aren’t searching wide enough. More likely they are not communicating what they have to offer.
I don’t claim to be naturally talented and certainly not amazingly confident but I managed to communicate what I had to offer a company, and subsequently found it easy to gain employment.
My first employment experience was not a good one, but in contrast there are many companies like Smallfry providing the support all graduates require, so persevere and your luck may change.