Activating the Gender Equity Toolkit

Filed Under: Womens Leadership

AIGA Chapters across the country are using the AIGA Women Lead Gender Equity Toolkit.

We've compiled five key takeaways from AIGA chapters that have held a Gender Equity Toolkit event in their local community—AIGA Colorado, AIGA El Paso, AIGA Portland, and AIGA Northwest Arkansas. Get inspired and learn best practices from those who've already put the Gender Equity Toolkit to good use. And then, get going.


1. Watch the three instructional videos beforehand.

Background knowledge on how the kit functions set particpants at the AIGA El Paso event up for success. “Before our event, we watched the three videos online to learn more about the background of the kit and how to best use it. Exactly as intended, the kit helped us create empathy through connected conversations.”


2. Encourage participation from a broad range of people.

At the Bend Design Conference with AIGA Portland, AIGA Women Lead co-chair Lynda Decker noticed that the lack of diverse perspective effected outcomes: “Overall people enjoyed participation and conversation. Do I think there will be any long-term or significant impact? No. There were no profound conclusions. Maybe it would have been more significant had there been more male participation.”


3. Make sure your participants feel heard.

After the AIGA Colorado Gender Equity Toolkit event, hosted by AIGA Women Lead committee member Elysia Syriac, a key takeaway was that “women struggle with being heard and it takes practice and courage to find your voice. We need to be empathic toward personality types—because you can not always generalize things as ‘male’ and ‘female.’”


4. Consider working in small groups and venues, which can encourage openness.

During the Gender Equity Toolkit workshop at AIGA El Paso, participants found that “being a small group… Not only did we share and discuss our views on gender bias, but we also learned about our different work environments and gave each other helpful advice. The kit is interactive, engaging, and makes you reflect deeply.”


5. Remember to take your learnings with you into the real world.

After an AIGA Northwest Arkansas event, Rise: Elevating Women by Design, a key lesson was that by advocating “for women who don’t have the opportunities we do, we make work a better place for all of us.” Gender Equity Toolkit workshops are a great starting point to build skills for your own personal growth and for learning how to support others.

Has your chapter hosted a Gender Equity Toolkit event of its own? Share it with us, following this format. Then shoot it over to

Learn more about AIGA Women Lead.