In making your surroundings more inclusive, make sure you do what designers should be able to best: listen to what people have to say and what they need in order to feel comfortable and enabled.
Therre seem to be no statistics specifically on the Dutch design context (in e.g. gender equality, cultural backgrounds, etc.). In the UK, there are some thanks to the Design Council.
There’s much more at Project Include. If you need inspiration from a Dutch cultural context, check out Code Diversiteit & Inclusie.
- Hire people to work on Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and make sure there is governance. – Project Include - Implementing Inclusive Cultures, Maurice Cherry
- Make sure not to hire just women in ‘empathy roles’ and to value empathy work equally to technical work. – Lauren Bacon
- Create a code of conduct; “A code of conduct sets company norms for behavior. These norms are the foundation for diversity and inclusion” – Project Include - Guide to writing a code of conduct
- Focus on retention; after hiring people while striving for diversity, you need to continue making your workspace more inclusive, otherwise the you’re not making sustainable progress. – Sameera Kapila
- Be open to criticism and make sure not to react negatively or angrily. – Diversify Your Workplace. There Are No Excuses
- Build transparency into your company culture. – Project Include - Defining Culture
- Consider a ‘swear jar’ for exclusive language. – Sameera Kapila
- Donate to (local) initiatives that strive for diversity and inclusion, like communities for underrepresented groups, diverse meet-ups, etc. and buy products/services from companies that share your inclusive values. – Sameera Kapila
- Try mentoring: To get more people from underrepresented groups into the field of design, you could think about mentoring students from local high schools1. “There are talented students that love to draw, love to design, but they may not know how do I turn this from a hobby (…) into a career” – Maurice Cherry
- When organising an event, like a conference or meet-up, try to make sure you have a diverse group of speakers, among other things. You could use Ashe Drydens list to help get started with that. – Maurice Cherry
- Getting insight into the cultural diversity is possible to a certain extent within the boundaries of GDPR by having employees voluntarily record the countries of origin of them and their (grand)parents. – pwc/Rijksoverheid
- Improve the language in your job descriptions, for example with the tips from Hire More Women in Tech, and maybe by using tools such as Joblint or Textio. For Dutch listings, you could get started with (Incomplete) Stijlgids voor inclusieve (beeld)taal from Women Inc
- Make sure to bring your positions to the attention outside of your network. – Melody Joy Kramer at Poynter, Stephanie Foo at Transom
- “Train and hold accountable everyone involved in the hiring process.” and formalize the process (e.g. interview questions and a rubric) to make the treatment of candidates fair and equal. – stacy-marie ishmael
- When being interviewed, ask about diversity and inclusion. – Sameera Kapila
- When teaching design history, try to stay away from a completely eurocentric curriculum; ask for it as a student; teach it yourself as a professional. – Sameera Kapila, Denise Whitehouse
- Don’t separate people based on their gender, especially bathrooms. – Fact Sheet: Transgender & Gender Nonconforming Youth In School, Stalled!
- Black Designers: Missing in Action is an article from 1987 about how the graphic design field in the USA was lacking black designers. Written by Cheryl D. Miller. The same article is also available as a scan of the original print.
- Helena Price Ambrecht, the photographer/interviewer of Techies, wrote about how you can help.
- Sameera Kapila wrote a Twitter thread on things you can do in the design field by
- [NL] CBS has stats on people who finished certain levels of education in the fields of ‘Design, art, languages and history’ (also including AV production, archeology and philosophy) as well as ‘Technology, industry and architecture’ compared to their ‘migration background’ (i.e. Dutch, western and non-western).
- For the total population in The Netherlands, about 75% has a Dutch migration background, 10% has a western migration background and 14% a non-western.
- For the first (design) category, this fluctuates between 69–85%, 8–21%, 7–12%, respectively for those three categories. For all levels combined, that’s 73%, 17%, 10%, respectively.
- For the second (technology) category, it fluctuates between 72–85%, 7–17%, 7–11%, respectively. For all levels combined, that’s 82%, 10%, 8%, respectively.
- For those 2 (of 10 in total) fields, it seems people with a western migration background are sometimes, if not often, over represented, while people with a non-western migration background are always underrepresented.
- Stats for the (industrial/digital) design field specifically seem to be lacking.
Examples & initiatives
- Revision Path showcases black graphic and web designers, founded by Maurice Cherry.
- Where Are The Black Designers? is an initiative and platform for Black designers. They organize a conference and have a mentorship initiative.
- Code2040 is a program working to “activate, connect, and mobilize the largest racial equity community in tech”.
- Tech Ladies is a worldwide community with a supportive online group, a free job board, and opportunities to learn.
- PowerToFly is a platform to propel diversity recruiting and hiring. They help reaching talent pools of underrepresented female engineers at a centralized and lower cost
- Hue Design Summit is an “un-conference for black developers & designers to foster relationships & build community.”
- Blacks Who Design highlights, well, black designers. They link to similar projects for women and Latinxs.
- BIPOC Studios is a list of architecture and design studios (most also owned by women and/or black people). At the moment of writing it features one Dutch studio, Afara.
- DesignExplorr is “an organization that operates as a social enterprise to address the diversity gap within the design profession.”
- Women Talk Design helps you find women and gender non-binary speakers for events.
- Techies highlights people of color and other people who are underrepresented in the tech narrative.
- A Seat At The Table was (an exhibition about) a survey by Equality in Design, a student group at the Yale School of Architecture.
- [NL] Diversity Talks is a Amsterdam based organisation focussed on improving diversity en inclusion in society, fair higher education and equal opportunity in the road towards it.
- [NL] Studio i is a platform for inclusivity in the Dutch cultural sector.
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