The creative sector produces over 3% of the global GDP and is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world. Unfortunately, many elements of the sector are still dominated by men. In honor of Women’s History Month, we want to highlight certain roles that need more gender inclusivity across the creative and tech industries. We also want to help women and nonbinary people feel confident in landing their dream jobs while offering helpful links to organizations that are moving the needle on gender equality.
We don’t typically think that the creative industries are lacking in women and nonbinary leaders due to the popularity of the field. But according to Creative Equals, only 17% of Creative Directors identify as women and only about 5.5% of the creative industry has BIPOC women in senior leadership positions. Given that so many women are involved in art and design, we can do better to promote qualified women to Creative Director roles, for starters. And women need to get louder about what they want and deserve, says Craft & Root CEO, Emily Nhaissi. We need to make a conscious effort to reach out to one another, but recruiters and companies need to do a better job of hiring and promoting women into these Creative Director roles. When it comes to organizations, Creative Equals, and The One Club are just a few who are helping to diversify creative jobs and leadership across the industry.
As stereotypical as it seems, it’s true—there still are not enough women and nonbinary representation in the UX field. But every single aspect of UX needs to improve in this respect, as proven by the sheer number of conferences built around these roles. The proof is there. Next, we need more women in leadership and all humans (perhaps especially men in leadership) to help advocate for and hire young women interested in this field. There are plenty of schools that offer courses in becoming a UX Researcher, but the barrier to entry seems to lie within hiring straight from school (more on what recruiters can do below). The more we focus hiring efforts and encourage women to apply, the better we’ll be able to solve this lack of diversity.
As of 2020, software developers were still a male-dominated field with only about 11% of the positions filled by women. Yet one in three Gen-Z girls have learned to code before they were sixteen. Again the disconnect seems to signal that not all parties are working hard to fix the imbalance. In such a male-dominated field, we’re hoping men can help combat toxic workplace cultures and help lift women up, BTW, as this is one of the largest barriers to women getting ahead in this field. However, there are many women-led software development companies across the country these days looking for candidates like you. With a combination of help from recruiters and leaders in the field, we can foresee more women and nonbinary people taking up space in these roles.
Similar to the male-dominated software development field, front-end web development is another field that needs more women and nonbinary candidates. While we’ve seen some improvements in women joining the tech industry as front-end developers, there is still a lot more work we can do. There are many organizations like Women Who Code that are working hard to close the gender gap in this field, and we recommend you find and work with one that feels right for you.
Interestingly more C-level positions are being created as we speak. Where there used to be only about three or four positions at the top of any given company, there’s new evidence that more C-level jobs are totally brand new, given the needs of each company. Roles like Chief Diversity and Inclusion, Chief Sustainability, Chief Data, and Chief Privacy Officers were unheard of a decade ago. In this era of personal branding, we would venture to say Chief Creative Officers are becoming a must for any brand—who says at least 50% can’t be women? In 2019 we found only 8 of 100 CCOs were women. Pretty bleak, right? But after a little searching, you’ll see the industry’s up-and-coming leaders look very different than they used to, which signals to us it’s getting better. Again places like Creative Equals and improved networking on LinkedIn will help empower the next level of C-Suite women and NB creators.
How you can help if you’re a recruiter
- Reach out to a broader swath of colleges and schools
Getting more women into various positions in the workforce always starts at the beginning of their careers—and you can help by broadening your search and taking advantage of job fairs in schools you previously didn’t visit before.
- Make your job postings more inclusive
So many women do not apply for job postings if the language is off. While you’re probably not using “he/him” pronouns (you’re not, right?), other aspects of language can be coded masculine, signaling that your company may be biased to who you want to hire for the position. Get help from professionals if you aren’t sure that your postings are totally inclusive.
- Post salaries
Women still make significantly less than men across all industries and so it’s a huge draw for women to see salaries posted within job descriptions. It’s a signal that your company cares about shortening the wage gap and it honestly helps all genders to see your expectations.
What you can do if you’re a candidate
- Apply anyway
Studies show that women apply to fewer job descriptions if they don’t feel that they meet all the requirements. Meanwhile, their male counterparts are overly confident, applying if they only meet about 60% of the requirements. If you’re looking at an exciting job and don’t feel like “you make the cut,” apply anyway. Chances are it’s all in your head.
- Ask tough questions about diversity
You deserve to work in a place that values who you are—so get some answers during your initial interviews. A company’s DE&I efforts should be something they’re proud to discuss with you.
- Pay it forward
If you know of a job opening, share it far and wide and encourage women and nonbinary candidates to apply. Write letters of recommendation for them, invite them to meet your peers, and get together with them over coffee for mentorship. We can all get ahead by continuously lifting each other up.
One way of making sure you're sourcing more diverse candidates is to work directly with a recruiting agency - like us!