While the numbers are staggering simple things can change them:
Promote Your Peers
In studies, successful women and non-binary people are shown to receive more backlash compared to successful men. Root for one another and celebrate each other’s successes instead of tearing each other down. We can all help in various ways, big or small. Share your favorite designers on your social media, invite more underrepresented voices to your design conferences, make sure there is diversity in books on design, and so on.
Leadership at Companies
As a leader, make sure underrepresented creatives are considered for promotions, receive feedback to get to higher positions, and create action plans that help build leadership skills. Do not penalize or discredit people for needing work-life balance and flexibility.
Support Women & Non-Binary People in the Workplace
Be supportive of all people in your workspace. Use gender-neutral language in the workplace ask and use peoples correct pronouns. In addition, women and non-binary voices are often not heard or their ideas get lost in meetings. Make sure they have their physical spot in conversations, not getting elbowed out by others. If someone interrupts them, be direct and ask the interrupter to wait for their turn to speak. If you see someone’s ideas are immediately getting unfairly shut down, repeat, reference, and credit that idea over and over. This technique is called amplification and we owe this to Obama’s administration.
Mentor Women & Non-Binary Creatives
If you’ve found success as a creative, take the time to mentor others who are starting out in their careers.
Don’t Tolerate Sexism, Racism, or Homophobia
Do not normalize forms of sexism by accepting mansplaining, manterrupting, gaslighting or bropriating. If you see racist/sexist/homophobic behavior in public or at home, speak up against it. If you see this behavior online, you can report the behavior or language. To stop sexist and racist behavior, we must adopt a zero tolerance policy.
Resources on combating racism: Everyday Feminism, Amnesty International, Ted
Resources on combating sexism: HuffPost, Elle, NPR Podcast Directory, Girl Scouts
Resources on combating homophobia: Human Rights Campaign, The Washington Post, The Guardian