IDSA has a long-standing commitment to Women in Design and intends to amplify its support to this community by creating a nationwide program offering that would foster a heightened level of opportunity and connection for women, non-binary, and gender-queer identifying designers. To date, IDSA has invested considerable resources in this community group, beginning 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. Looking ahead, it is vital that our programming continue to evolve to build a more inclusive and representative profession, all while increasing access to and awareness of industrial design.
IDSA recently held an open call for individuals interested in volunteering to serve on a new Women in Design Committee (WIDC) who will help us take our Women in Design initiative to the next level of success and growth.
Women in Design Committee
IDSA’s WIDC endeavors to invite participation, encourage dialogue, and enable a community for women 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.
Northeast District Representative
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.
With the Women in Design Committee in place, IDSA will move forward with the creation and operational support of localized Women in Design Chapters in cities across the United States. These groups will operate much like IDSA's Professional Chapters and will provide valuable programming for womxn designers in local communities. All this is aimed at fostering positive gender equity within our profession and towards building a more robust platform which celebrates the tremendous impact female-identified industrial designers have within our businesses and society at large. If you are interested in leading a Women in Design Chapter, contact Community Manager Korie Twiggs.
Composition of the Women in Design Committee
The Women in Design Committee will be made up of seven (7) female-identifying individuals: A Committee Chair (from any district), one member from each of IDSA's five districts and the Chapter Director on IDSA's Board of Directors. The single exception to gender being in cases where the elected Chapter Director is male.
A goal of the composition of the Women in Design Committee is to always include a representative composition of womxn design leaders with various cultural backgrounds, identities, and abilities. Further, Women in Design Committee members should represent a wide spectrum of industry experience.
- In the Committee's first year, four (4) members will be appointed to a two-year term ending December 2022: Committee Chair, South representative, Midwest representative, West representative. The current Chapter Director will also serve. Any additional individuals not appointed to the Committee but still interested in participating may have the opportunity to serve on a ‘working group’ which would be called upon to support the Committee should the need arise.
- In 2022, remaining open positions, Northeast representative and Central representative, will be elected by IDSA membership to a two-year term ending in December 2023.
An advisory / working group may also be formed to support the Women in Design Committee as neccessary.
How Individuals Were Selected for the Women in Design Committee
At the close of the open call (February 19, 2021), interested candidates were vetted and chosen candidates were appointed by IDSA’s Chair of the Board of Directors (with approval by the full IDSA Board of Directors), in accordance with IDSA’s Bylaws.
Per the open call, to qualify to serve on the Committee, individuals should (suggested experience):
- Hold a current IDSA professional membership and be eligible to serve per IDSA’s Bylaws.
- Have prior experience leading a team and mentoring others in a professional setting.
- Demonstrated ability to inspire and support others.
- Prior IDSA chapter leadership experience is a plus.
Relationship between the Women in Design Committee, IDSA, other committees within IDSA, and the Design Foundation
The Women in Design Committee is a body within IDSA’s governance structure that falls under the responsibility of the Chapter Director on IDSA’s Board of Directors; however, overlap may exist with other IDSA committee efforts and/or Design Foundation initiatives. In such cases, the Women in Design Committee will work directly with members of other IDSA committees and/or the Foundation’s Board of Trustees to share ideas and progress efforts across shared interests, though IDSA (and its Board of Directors) maintains oversight responsibility.
Because of the overlapping and shared mission of IDSA's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, it is expected that the Women in Design Committee maintain a close working relationship with the DEIC to enable frequent communication, collaboration, and knowledge exchange.
While the Women in Design Committee sits above Women in Design Chapters in hierarchy, the Women in Design Chapters (and Chapter Leaders) maintain autonomy to conduct events and programming specific to their local community, so long as it fits within the overarching goals of the Women in Design program. The Women in Design Committee is meant to provide high-level direction if/when needed, and not to interfere in the day-to-day operations of Women in Design Chapters unless specifically called upon to do so.