EQUITY BY DESIGN

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Diversity and inclusivity have been big business buzzwords for some time now, and not without good reason. Inequality at work has been and still remains a very challenging issue especially regarding gender. Fortunately, there’s an increased effort to bring more balance between men and women in many aspects, such as salary, opportunities, dress code, etc, along with a growing awareness of how companies can benefit from building a culture of diversity in the workplace. Yet, there is still a long way to equality.

1 – The pay gap is one of the most obvious contrasts between men and women. Check out this infographic that explains with numbers how the pay gap affects women in Europe.

2 – In the US, women earn 80 percent of what men are paid. In this short q&a, Mary Brinton, sociology professor at Harvard University, talks about how the United States compares to other postindustrial countries on gender inequality, as well as how gender equality can help solve declining birth rates.

3 – Most office layouts are set up to favor men’s work styles. Traditional layout models that promote segregation and underline hierarchy, might cause gender bias. Yet, there are solutions.

4 – It is becoming increasingly clear that the biggest issue of work culture in the last 10 years has been the MeToo movement. In this conversation with Bruce Daisley, two journalists of the group Second Source talk about their involvement in the campaign to remove toxic sexual behaviour.
5 – Mixed-gender teams are more likely to be innovative. Rocío Lorenzo and her team surveyed 171 companies before concluding this, and you can find all about it in this 11min Ted talk.

6 – By implementing mother-friendlier time management, companies can boost efficiency, productivity and profitability. This paper argues that adapting the workplace to mother’s needs could be a win-win situation for both the company and the employee.

7- The designer Suzanne Tick discusses how the current views around gender begin to reflect on fashion, design and architecture of the workplace.

8 – But sadly, the predictions show that women have to wait another 217 years for disparities in the pay and employment opportunities of men and women to end. (That hurts)

Could redesigning the workplace help fix these problems? As designers, we certainly need to pay more attention not only to gender, but also, age, life-style, ethnicity and culture and create spaces that cater for diversity. Let’s see how you can imagine a more diverse workplace realised and let’s find some hope out there.

Till next time –

Cheers!
Mariza