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    Women’s Leadership Initiative

    Leadership hero

    Celebrating and fostering women’s achievements in design

    In the 1920s, AIGA became the first design association in the United States to admit women. Today, women outnumber men in the membership—just as they do in design schools and design professions. Despite significant progress made by women in the last century within and beyond the design industry, challenges remain in the pursuit and establishment of professional leadership.

    This new initiative develops AIGA’s commitment to empowering women designers and advancing the vital discourse on issues facing professional women today. The objective of this initiative is not to generalize or segregate women designers, but to recognize exemplary achievements and constructively address persistent biases and inequities. Design, the realm of problem solving and innovation, should lead the way in tackling these issues for our wide-reaching industry.

    The AIGA Women’s Leadership Initiative steering committee has articulated three goals. In pursuing programs and building resources aligned with these goals, the initiative aims to be accessible and valuable for an inclusive audience—women and men, emerging designers and seasoned professionals, members and nonmembers.

    1. Celebrate the achievements of women in design
    2. Cultivate awareness of gender-related issues, while building knowledge and leadership skills
    3. Connect, by facilitating relationships within and beyond the design industry
    Get involved!
    • Watch initiative co-chairs Deborah Adler and Su Mathews’ webcast, “Move Over Mad Men,” recorded in January 2014.
    • Explore our growing selection of leadership resources, including books, articles, videos and external programs.
    • Suggest a presenter for a future Women’s Leadership webcast series online.
    • Save the date for a Leadership Symposium organized by the Women’s Leadership Initiative on October 22, 2014, in conjunction with “Gain: AIGA Design and Business Conference.
    • Join the new AIGA Women's Leadership group on LinkedIn to connect with the steering committee and other supporters, share articles and resources, and ask questions. 
    • Use and follow the hashtag #aigawomensleadership on social media to share images, links and thoughts related to women's leadership, whether from your personal experience or chapter-level activities.
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