Girl Power! Promoting women in Design Leadership

Girl Power! Promoting women in Design Leadership

This week I was both humbled and proud to be named a finalist in the Thames Valley Venus Awards, in the category of ‘Inspirational Woman’. Many factors added to my sense of pride, not least that I was nominated by my team at work, but also that the judging was carried out by Professor Ellie Highwood - Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at Reading University - poignant when you read the nomination my colleagues wrote:

 “Anna has worked tirelessly to help influence positive change in a male dominated industry. She's an inspiring manager, and is helping to affect change to empower women in her own workplace and in the wider industry. She doesn't shout about female inequality, in fact she has never spoken out directly about this subject, instead she 'gets on with the job' of actually doing something to make a difference. She's a fantastic boss to work for, and her employees and clients alike find her love for her work infectious.”

 Throughout my career in design I’d always worked with predominantly male colleagues, but it was not until I was introduced to Kerning the Gap that I discovered I was in such a minority as a female leader in my industry.

 Did you know that 70% of graphic design students are women; yet only 11% are Creative Directors?

But the good news is things are changing! Both Kerning the Gap, in the UK and The Double or Nothing campaign launched by American Institute for Graphic Arts are supporting and celebrating women in design leadership roles, encouraging their career progression and allowing their voices to be heard.

Then there’s the gender pay-gap. Research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that women in graphic design earn £4,000 less than men in the same role. Yes, the government now insists that businesses with over 250 employees publish their pay scales, but 98% of design businesses employ less than 50 people.

More good news - we can all make a difference. I am doing my small part to support and empower the women who work for me, more than half the Boomerang team! From setting up flexible working arrangements enabling my team to achieve manageable work-family-life balance; to mentoring junior team members to achieve more than they themselves imagined and fast track their careers. Fingers crossed for Sarah shortlisted ‘Apprentice of the Year’ and Boomerang as ‘Micro Employer of the Year’ in the WBTC Apprenticeship Awards. Recognition like this all helps to up the ante!

Anna Sampson

Manger, Creative Director. 

Monday, April 23, 2018 9:21:16 AM


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