IDSA Women in Design Committee Statement on Roe v. Wade

Jul 20 2022 - 12:31pm


From IDSA's Women in Design Committee:


The right of autonomy over one’s own body is foundational to human rights. On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States' decision to strike down Roe v. Wade stripped this foundational human right from over half of the U.S. population, including over 160 million women and girls.

You are not alone if you feel despair or frustration. This ruling, at minimum, curbs women’s social and economic growth. It disproportionately affects black, brown, and under-resourced women. It puts women’s health in jeopardy and threatens to dismantle the progress we’ve made toward gender equality in the workplace.

The IDSA Women in Design Committee is composed of five geographic District Representatives and a Chair position. We are mothers, sisters, daughters, and designers. We are professionals in industry, educators, business owners, and strategists. We believe that reproductive rights are fundamental for gender parity in the workplace and the field of industrial design. We are committed to providing an equal platform for female designers.

Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Normalize abortion as a healthcare need
  • Volunteer locally
  • Donate to abortion access funds
  • For employers: Support all choices for female employees by releasing a statement and listening to the needs of your employees. Take action to include travel funding for necessary medical care, leave for abortion or miscarriage, and support for IVF, and vet your employee health plans for adequate women’s health coverage [Please note: Take the time to review with your counsel legally permissible measures you may undertake on behalf of your female employees with respect to funding travel arrangements for necessary medical care, medical expense coverage, and medical leave. As part of this same review process, look at your employee health insurance plan and discuss coverages that may or may not be available under the plan with the plan administrators.]

There will be additional calls to action in the coming weeks, as we are working on resources to support our community. If you want to learn more about how you can help or connect with members who want to help as well, please contact us.

In solidarity, 

2022-23 IDSA Women in Design Committee
Hina Shahid, Lisa Marks, Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, Kat Reiser, Lea Stewart, and Marcelle van Beusekom



From IDSA's Board of Directors:


IDSA's Board of Directors stands in support with the members of our Women in Design Committee. 

For decades IDSA has been working to establish safe spaces for women working in industrial design. These efforts were amplified by the creation of IDSA Women’s Section in 1992 and continues today with our growing network of Women in Design Chapters led by the Women in Design Committee. These programs are also an opportunity for allies to step up in a show of support to help meaningfully address systemic challenges of access, inclusion, and gender parity in our profession.

The SCOTUS ruling affects IDSA deeply. 78% of our full-time staff are women, 55% of our Board of Directors are women, and roughly 35% of IDSA’s membership are women. Through ongoing collaboration with members of our Women in Design Committee, and with insight from our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, we will continue to collect resources and offer means of support with the women (and their families) in our community whose lives have been changed by the court’s decision.

Internally, we are evaluating our employee health insurance policy to understand what may have changed as result of the SCOTUS ruling. Further, and upon understanding the extent of our health insurance options moving forward, we will make the necessary adjustments to our IDSA employee policies to ensure that our employees are supported in their choice to pursue abortion and / or other reproductive services if needed.

Finally, we recognize that not all in our community may share the same opinion on this topic. We acknowledge that this subject can be intensely personal and often polarizing. As a professional membership organization, we strive to create conditions for constructive, respectful, and open conversation about topics that impact our community to occur. There will be much to learn in the weeks and months ahead as the full impact of this SCOTUS ruling unfolds. It is our hope what we can leverage IDSA, and the empathic nature we all carry as design professionals, towards building a unified community of people who care about one another (even through differences) in our personal and professional successes. 


2022-23 IDSA Board of Directors
Jason Belaire, Maureen Carroll, Vijay Chakravarthy, Stephan Clambaneva, Dorothy Dunn, ClayVon Lowe, Lindsey Maxwell, Verena Paepcke-Hjeltness, Caterina Rizzoni, and IDSA Executive Director, Chris Livaudais