Women in Design Chapters


IDSA's network of Women in Design Chapters is a new initiative, launched in 2021, aimed at fostering positive gender equity within our profession and creating welcoming environments for women, women-identifying individuals, and allies to network, connect, and learn from one another. WID Chapters operate much like IDSA's Professional Chapters and provide valuable programming for designers in local communities. IDSA's Women in Design program establishes a robust platform that celebrates the tremendous impact female-identified industrial designers have within our businesses and society at large. Start a Chapter!

In addition to supporting women in industrial design, our programming encompasses related fields such as user experience design, visual design, service design, design research, and design operations. Founded on the belief that balance and inclusion are essential for creative success, our events, resources, and mentorship programs are platforms for inspiring honest conversations and bringing about meaningful change in our industry. 




Women in Design Chapters


History of Women in Design at IDSA


IDSA has a long-standing commitment to Women in Design and is continually working to amplify its support to this community by fostering a heightened level of opportunity and connection for women-identifying industrial designers. 

To date, IDSA has invested considerable resources in supporting this community group, including with the establishment of a Women's Special Interest Section in 1992, the Women in Design San Francisco community group, and most recently with our annual Women in Design Deep Dive events. 

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Belle Kogan, FIDSA at work in 1955. Believed to be one of the first women to work as a professional industrial designer in the United States, Kogan received IDSA's Personal Recognition Award for her life's work and contributions to industrial design. She also received IDSA's highest honor of Fellowship.

Ellen Manderfield, L/IDSA at the Montgomery Ward Bureau of Design, 1950. Photo courtesy of The Chicago Athenaeum, Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, Director. In 1992 Manderfield was the first woman to receive IDSA’s Personal Recognition Award.


Women in Design Committee


IDSA’s WIDC endeavors to invite participation, encourage dialogue, and enable a community for womxn designers to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industrial design profession. At the direction of the Board of Directors, the WIDC, through leadership of its Chair, will:

  • Provide mentoring and support to Women in Design Chapter leaders.
  • Review and assist with the approval of new city-based Women in Design Chapter groups.
  • Foster an inclusive and supportive environment for Women in Design Chapter Leaders and those who participate in Women in Design programming.
  • Collaborate, coordinate, and align efforts with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council (DEIC) on IDSA's DEI goals pertaining to Women in Design.
  • Elevate issues of importance to the Board of Directors for consideration, feedback, and action.
  • Assist with the curation of speakers and content for IDSA’s Women in Design Deep Dive event, in collaboration with the IDSA events staff.
  • Assist in identifying future committee members to replace those whose terms have ended.

Hina Shahid, IDSA
Project Pluralist

Lisa Marks, IDSA
Georgia Tech
South District Representative

Kat Reiser, IDSA
Rise Design
Midwest District Representative

Marcelle van Beusekom, IDSA
West District Representative

Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, IDSA
Interwoven Design
Northeast District Representative

Lea Stewart, IDSA
Newell Brands
Central District Representative


Women in Design Advisory Council


The Women in Design Advisory Council will support the Women in Design Committee as needed and when requested by the Committee. This group of experienced leaders will provide valuable strategic guidance, historical perspective, and deep industry connection in helping the Committee achieve their goals. Additionally, this group will assist IDSA’s Board of Directors and other internal decision makers as needed the development of our WID platform and other, yet-to-be-established programming to support women industrial designers in the future. 

A standing liaison position will be reserved for a member of IDSA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Council to also serve on this Council. Members of this council will be renewed as needed on a bi-annual (2 year) basis.

Ana Arriola, IDSA

Betsy Barnhart, IDSA
University of Kansas
Liasion to DEI Council

Betsy Goodrich, FIDSA
Manta Design

Nancy Perkins, FIDSA
Perkins Design Ltd