Where the design community meets.
I agree we should always be inviting more people to the DN community but when we challenge stats, that seems a little strange.
"That doesn't seem right, and I imagine it's not an accurate representation of the global design community."
I was under the assumption, as well, that there are more men in the workforce, thus more men as designers. I don't have stats on this, it's an assumption. That would mean that DN is in fact an accurate representation of the global design community, albeit a bit skewed. If I look at pinterest stats and see that there are more woman using pinterest, will I say "that doesn't seem right?"
If it serves as a point of reference, I've just been to Interaction South America (biggest design conf down here) and gender balance was much healthier than this.
Granted, I think DN is not that popular in South America, but still, it's hard to believe the gender ratio in design comes even close to 91% men, anywhere.
no, 8.8% is way more than a little skewed.
Just because it's an "accurate" representation of the community doesn't mean that there are not more women out there who see comments like the one's on this thread and don't feel comfortable entering the community. It's like judging a book by it's cover, what you see is not what you get. Time to put in the effort to dig a little deeper and make an effort to bring more women into the community to help balance it, even if it is "cheating the system".
I would wager to say there are a decent number of women in the DN community (and the design community as a whole) who don't have the unspoken privilege of speaking their mind. They are taught their whole lives to watch what they say, to not offend, while men (particularly white males) have always had, well, basically free range in their communication.
Shame on the community for looking at this issue and saying "it is what it is"—it's not, and it's up to all of us to change that.
But this is the point: it is what it is. Who ever said that women aren't welcome here? Have you ever considered why women aren't joining in the first place or does this discussion just reinforce your belief that this is just a boys club and we don't want you here? The gender imbalance is simply not a result of the DN ecosystem, we did nothing to create this imbalance, we could just as easily place the blame on the women who aren't signing up. The ones who oppose this are simply not as willing or open to the idea of pro-active inclusion. Yes it would be great if more women were a part of this, but it shouldn't be a result of forced recruitment. I don't like the fact that taller men have an easier time in the work force than someone as short as myself, but that situation simply is what it is and I make due with that reality.
You being "disgusted" by rational debate is where I think you're missing the point completely. I haven't read anything in this thread that suggests women aren't welcome. If DN wanted more women members, let the powers that be at DN promote that initiative, it should not come down to encouraging the community to help fix a "problem" they didn't create.
I keep accidentally upvoting your comments when I mean to hit "reply" — oops!
Richard, DN didn't write the post, a community member did. A member of the community encouraged the rest of the community to take notice of this imbalance, which absolutely wasn't worded as an attack on you or any other male member, please, re-read the post. The intention here seems pretty clear — hey, it seems this grand community of ours might be missing out on a group of people that would strengthen it, perhaps we can help out with that a bit, as members of this community who care about it.
That's it dude.
I think the disgust, and let me emphasize that I think, because I am a male, and I don't have the same perspective as the target that this discussion may or may not be isolating, but I think the disgust is that someone made a 100% harmless and blameless suggestion that might contribute to the broadening of our community, and then a ton of members responded by saying things like "this is a problem I didn't create", "why would we do that?", and "it is what it is." If the post had said something like "hey Richard B — you're a misogynistic jerk because you've never invited a female designer to the community" or even "hey all of you males are misogynistic jerks because there aren't many female members here" then you and everyone else's defensive responses might be warranted, but to have so many people respond like this to a harmless suggestion whose clear intent was to make an effort to strengthen the community by including more people in it that seem to be underrepresented would absolutely turn me off and make me feel unwelcome if I were part of that group.
Again, if you feel so strongly that you play no role in the outcome of this community and how it functions, then why are you a member in the first place?
Matt: Just wanted to say, thanks for speaking up in this thread. I keep finding myself coming back to this post and getting overwhelmed and disheartened by all of the responses. I do what I can to speak up, but its just not enough. It's not up to just the women on DN to defend the need for social equality, we need help from the guys too. I really appreciate your point of view and your willingness to share it.
Anna, no problem! You're absolutely right — equality issues are important and impact everyone in the community, not just those who feel they are the victims of inequality. More than anything, this place is valuable because it is open and welcoming to all, and besides the fact that the exclusion of women and the fostering of a welcoming environment for them in a community (especially an online, comment-based community) is a big issue at large, it bothers me so much as well that so many people seem to be pushing back against someone who thought they had an idea that might make the community a better place. If the posting of an idea that you think would strengthen DN is unwelcome by so many then what message does that send to people? What message does it send to everyone, but especially people who are already unsure if they are welcome or not? Yikes!
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