Sexism is rife across the creative sector…

In response to Jim Davies’ letter entitled ’I’m sorry, but design really is a boys’ club’ (DW 18 November), I’d say most creative industries are boys’ clubs, especially advertising.

We work across design, branding and advertising, and according to industry figures ad agencies only have 15 per cent women working in their creative departments, yet 85 per cent of fmcg, fashion and toiletry brands can spend most of their budget on targeting women.

We have a 50:50 hiring policy, which is unusual, but seems more balanced when we consider that so many of our clients target women. Not to say you always need a woman to crack a brief – our recent Girl Guiding ad was written by a bloke – but sometimes men just don’t get it.

Chris Arnold and Victoria Gallardo, Creative partners and founders, Creative Orchestra, London N19

Girl Guides UK

…But particularly acute in the world of product design

Having worked in product design, in London, full time, I’m shocked at the sexism. I have always been interested in design, and had many male friends, yet working in a male-dominated profession, in an office full of men is the most frustrating thing in the world.

I feel I am constantly having to ’prove’ myself. I am treated differently to male employees, and not taken seriously. It is tiring, and makes concentrating on the job harder. I struggle to find any women role models in product design.

To be a woman in design you need bigger balls than the men – to overcome the obstacles of being new to the industry and to do so with no support and constant undermining. I feel a lack of respect from colleagues and clients, and can see why many women give up. I’m currently looking at other careers, because I am tired of the need to compete every day to be taken seriously.

I am unsure of what can be done to change this imbalance. I think that both men and women equally should be designing products as a team. The majority of products are used by both sexes, so why let them be designed mostly by men?

Name and address supplied, by e-mail

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