What no women!?
I’ve worked in both print and web design worlds and I can’t stress enough what a loss it is to have so few women on the web side of things. It’s great to see good designers like Veerle stand up that are heard by others in the field. The problem is, as pointed out by many, not the profession itself but the institutions where these professions are performed.
One problem with webdesign is that it often isn’t seen as an important part of the whole because it’s often isolated from the technical process, were most of the budget often goes. Unless it’s mainly a communication orientated project, then design and art direction come to the fore. Again design is orphaned from technology and it seems this is because mixing the two is deemed to much of a hassle. I mean they’re completely different professions but they also shouldn’t be entirely separated. From the outside webdesign is indeed seen as technical job and it isn’t, not by any stretch of the imagination. Web designers can’t do without developers like graphic designers can’t do without printers.
So women like designing but don’t like engineering, so where does the problem lie? IT and Web orientated development should get it’s act together in my view. The loss is theirs if they keep such an institutional exclusion in place. Actually it’s more like institutional male inclusion. Tear it down I say. Maybe give some of the programming cavemen some ‘awareness’ classes. I don’t know, they did it in the Army.
But if this problem and I see it as a serious problem doesn’t get any better I’m afraid that the maturing of the web will take much longer that it needs to. We see great design on the web but these are exceptions. The majority is bland unimaginative drivel. In more traditional media we have seen over the last couple of decades a more balanced workforce and the overall quality has gone up due to this. These are just a few of my personal views, but who would listen to me… I’m just a hairy knuckle dragging bloke.