Saturday, 26 September 2015

Stick your money where your XY chromosome is!

The gender divide in the design industry and why the money isn’t the main issue.

If you work in the creative industry or have ever heard of it, you’d know that we are mostly all ‘bloody lefties’ and would likely all vote for equal rights on any given chance; yet there is still a large gender divide in the industry, and it seems very bizarre to me. So, although I want to ask why, this is not what I’m going to do.

I’m not asking why, because as far as I can tell that’s done very little to change the problem, so I’m going to get mildly angry on an internet blog and tell you all what I think about it (obviously).
The problem that is the gender divide is most obvious in the industry when you look at pay, and although it’s the big pointing arrow to the divide—I don’t think it’s the main issue.
I am a male by definition, and that fact entitles me to more than it really should. Because I have a deformed chromosome and a penis between my legs; I am due to earn roughly 18% more than a female counterpart in the creative industry. And Christ, that is a large amount and would be the difference between paying rent and living comfortably in anyone’s pockets – so with the only real difference between us being the accolade of being able to piss standing up, it does not seem totally fair to me.

Now, although the pay gap is rather large and I certainly wouldn’t want to be paid less than anyone else – through my eyes it’s not the real problem here, it’s more the large blinking light; furiously flashing at the face of modern day sexism.
It’s not like the money wouldn’t help and I’m sitting on my high horse saying it’s not the problem when it’ll never effect me; but please hear me out. The problem lies in the sexism that surrounds this issue, rather than the pennies that are missing.

The difference in pay is because bosses and directors alike know they can they can do so, and why do they know they can, because they still have the belief that women are not equal to men.
If they were equal, they’d be paid the same, but in all those directors eyes all a creative woman is—is 18% percent less of a man, than a man.
The money isn’t an issue when you’ve got the fact that people are being seen less that other due to their gender. It’s not even like women haven’t achieved great things in design and their pay gap is represented in the ignorance of some peoples set in perceptions. Some of the biggest designers in the world are female, and punch way above the directors that are setting the unfair figures on the pay cheques. There are many influential females in the design world and I’d like to point out some to prove my point.

Firstly, in our current design sphere, we have Jessica Walsh of Sagmeister & Walsh. Not only is she a partner in one of America’s infamous agencies, but she is also one of the most famous designers on social media with her bright palettes and lovely hand text. We also have Paula Scher, another hugely influential designer, who carves her path in the industry with the world-renowned agency Pentagram; of whom only employ the elite of the elite. So both these ladies are clearly not any less of designers than any man on this planet.

 Even though I’ve only named two designers, I think their stance alone should emphasise my point. These two women will likely achieve more than I ever will, and their influence will likely go on to inspire generations of designers that aren’t even born yet—but if I were in a similar position I’d still be worth 18% more than either of them. That is fucking bullshit.

The fact that women are paid less is not the issue, the issue is that they are paid less because they are seen as less. At the end of the day, gender is nothing more than a social construct, so it gives even less of reason to these differences in pay. Sort yourselves out design industry, I thought you were better than this.


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