Why do so few women want to be designers?

As a female designer and design educator I have never thought of graphic design as a subject with more appeal to men than women, and I have been surprised by the low number of female students applying to study graphic design in recent years. Last academic year the Art & Design Admissions Registry (ADAR) statistics showed that female students made up 33 per cent of applicants to HND graphic design courses, and 43 per cent of those applying to BA courses. I am currently researching reasons for the low numbers of women interested in studying graphic design, with a view to developing strategies to encourage female students to consider graphics as a career.

In order to see whether the situation is mirrored within the profession, I would be interested to hear the comments of designers, employers and other educators on the following issues:

Are male and female designers employed in similar numbers?

Are they employed in similar positions within design consultancies?

Do female designers bring any skills to the design process?

Has the increased use of computers influenced the career aspirations of women?

What are womens’ experiences if they are in a minority in the workplace?

If you have any thoughts on these issues I would be delighted to hear them. Please contact me by 12 July.

Chris Treweek

Programme leader

HND Graphic Design

Falmouth College of Arts


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