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Humanities Edge Undergraduate Research Symposium | Fall 2021

“DesignHer:” An Exploratory Study on Inequality in the Graphic Design Industry by Marie Chacon


The founders in Canva have stated that “if you see it, you can be it.” The world of graphic arts is very representative of how we view the world and what it means to different people. But what does this world look like when you are entering it as a woman in the 21st century? In 2019, only 11% of women in the US held creative leadership positions in the graphic design industry. UK-based Kerning the Gap is aiming to increase their 17% by educating female graduates through resources, podcasts, and events. This exploratory project researched the topic of inequality in collegiate media design. The researcher, a woman, was driven to investigate this topic because of her graphic design career path. A survey was administered to current collegiate media designers (17 respondents) and two interviews were conducted with female leaders. Preliminary findings on the online survey seem to show that collegiate media is dominated by female leaders, while the two interviews portray two very different perspectives on inequality. The subject of inequality continues to prevail in both the workplace and student-run media as more women aim to become successful contributors to the graphic arts industry.

Research Paper

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Gender pay gap in the graphic design industry
Collegiate media study
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