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September 22, 2018

Carrboro Creative Speaks at WordPress LA Conference: Empowering Women with Design

Image of Caity Kelly and Victoria Cole in front of the WordCamp LA banner in Los Angeles at the WordPress conference

Empowering Women As designers

We had a great time speaking at the 2018 WordPress LAX Conference! Here's a recap of our presentation.

Empowering women as designers is multifaceted. In our presentation, we focused on how we can empower women entrepreneurs by elevating them with impactful graphic design and web design, how we empower women designers within the creative community, and how we can collectively empower women to start their own design businesses.

Women-Owned Businesses

Over the past 20 years (1997–2017), the number of women-owned businesses has grown 114%. (1)

That's a lot, especially considering the national growth rate for all businesses was only 44%. Women are turning to entrepreneurship at incredible rates. While on the surface this seems fantastic, a lot of these women are turning to entrepreneurship of out necessity. Sexual harassment, underpayment, lack of support with household duties are a few examples of the many reasons women are leaving the traditional workforce. Our founders are no strangers to these issues. Carrboro Creative was created to help address some of these problems. So, as designers, what can we do? 

seek out women-owned businesses

Women-owned businesses now account for 39% of all U.S. firms (1)

You'll be surprised how many businesses in your community are owned by women. As a design agency, we actively seek out other women-owned businesses to collaborate with. Whether that's helping them with their web design, branding, or graphic design, or hiring them for their services. If your community isn't already diversified, start thinking of ways you can change that.

Promote women into leadership positions

Women only account for 11% of creative directors, but they make up 46% of the advertising industry. (2)

This isn’t just the case in the creative world. According to leanin.org, only 1 in 5 c-suite execs are women. On average, women are 18% less like to be promoted from entry-level to manager. Why is this? Well, a lot of it can come down to bias. Women who demonstrate leadership qualities are seen as demanding and bossy, while their male counterparts are seen as decisive. Without acknowledging these biases, we can't move forward. As business owners, leaders, managers, it's our responsibility to make this change for our employees. It's also our responsibility to make this change for our clients. Without representation in decision-makers, clients aren't getting what they want or need. According to research, 91% of female consumers feel advertisers don’t understand them. Seven in ten women go further to say they feel “alienated” by advertising (3). Men overwhelmingly dominate creative departments and their output. Consumers are obviously fed up, and the same can be said for women who own businesses and female designers themselves.

  1. https://about.americanexpress.com/sites/americanexpress.newshq.businesswire.com/files/doc_library/file/2017_SWOB_Report_-FINAL.pdf
  2. https://www.adweek.com/digital/pinterest-right-the-ratio/
  3. http://www.startribune.com/general-mills-pressures-ad-agencies-to-hire-more-women-minorities-in-creative-positions/392216501

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