Dope Female Designers & Developers

almost 4 years ago from , Latex Salesman - Vandelay Industries

There has been a lot of talk about how under-represented women are in the design/development industry.

So figured we should say who we think are awesome.

Any others that you admire or know to be dope?

73 comments

  • Michael Collins, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    I don't get how a bunch of guys posting about women increases women's actual representation.

    15 points
    • Hawke BassignaniHawke Bassignani, almost 4 years ago

      On the one hand, that’s a good point… it doesn’t increase their representation in the short-term.

      On the other hand, it counters the perception that this industry—and others like technology, business, and science—are fields for mostly men. Long-term acknowledging “dope” female designers and developers, we may be removing any perceived obstacles.

      2 points
      • Michael Collins, almost 4 years ago

        I see what you're saying.

        But don't you think that industries like technology, business and science are fields that men as a whole are more interested in than women?

        After all... I've met a lot of girls in my life (admittedly, much less than I'd like to). And of all these girls, I think I've met one girl who was involved in a design company.

        On the other hand, I've met tons of men who are interested in business... pretty much every man I talk to has a technical interest in making money with a business.

        Given the fact that the internet is unprejudiced in how it provides information, meaning both men and women can equally learn the majority of skills needed for these industries, if less women are represented, isn't that just because less women are interested?

        1 point
        • Conlin DurbinConlin Durbin, almost 4 years ago

          Sure women can learn the same online material as others, but as you said there are tons of men in this field. From what I understand (being a dude), it is very hard for women to be recognized, even though (some might even say especially because) they may be incredible developers/designers. The web is open, but the ability to make in on the web is not.

          2 points
          • Michael Collins, almost 4 years ago

            Yeah I've heard that... I just don't understand the logic behind it.

            It's in no one's advantage to turn down good work. If a woman does good work, who would actually gain value from not recognizing her?

            0 points
            • Conlin DurbinConlin Durbin, almost 4 years ago

              I mean, that argument makes sense logically but this topic doesn't really follow logic. Women are just as much human and are just as capable as working as men. So if a woman does good work, why do women, on average, make 0.70 cents for every dollar that a man makes. The work is the same and the only difference is the gender. It just isn't a system that follows logic.

              1 point
            • Nicola RushtonNicola Rushton, almost 4 years ago

              This is true, and it's also 100% rational. But the world isn't 100% rational. I think many people in management positions (and otherwise) are used to seeing men in power, and seeing men as the movers and shakers of workplaces and societies. So when a manager, maybe of an older generation, who grew up in the 50s, who has mostly worked with male managers and male workers, sees a girl present her work, it's easy for this manager to SUBCONSCIOUSLY dismiss her a little bit more than they would dismiss a male presenting the same work. Decisions are made on gut feeling as well as many other factors and if the gut feeling towards a woman is somehow, unconsciously, to see her as less competent or less powerful then she's probably less likely to get the job.

              Did you automatically assign a gender to that manager? I didn't use any gendered pronouns, but I'm guessing there's a good chance you assumed that manager was male. There you go - that's a good example of this subconscious 'gut feeling' that still exists in society in relation to workplaces/work/positions of power.

              There's a ton of other issues at play too.

              One other thing I'll mention is the culture of business today. Many businesses and workplaces have a culture where to get real attention often an employee should be quite loud, push their ideas in meetings, be (over)confident in their abilities, be willing to talk over someone... In guys, that's going to look confident, ambitious, strong, a leader - things society values in men and teaches young men to be. But for women, firstly we have to get over the hump of forgetting that we've been told from a young age to be kind of the opposite of that strong character. And secondly we need to work out how to be that person at work or in an interview and avoid getting the subconscious 'bitch' tag, where a guy would just be seen as ambitious.

              I know to a point I'm stereotyping, and so many workplaces and managers aren't like this and so many men and women I've worked with don't think like this. But it's an undeniable fact that there ARE managers who think like that, and those guys are often the ones with the power to make the hiring decisions, leading to less women being represented.

              7 points
              • Allison HouseAllison House, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

                DID YOU SEE A MAN? [puff of smoke]

                +1 for different professional expectations for women and importance of exposing our own bias.

                2 points
              • Michael Collins, almost 4 years ago

                Society does not teach men how to be confident, ambitions, strong, and leaders. It expects it, but doesn't teach it – men are on the same ground as women in this regard.

                Life rewards hard work, and those who are willing to work hard will rise to the top, regardless of gatekeepers or anything else. This is true for any industry, but is especially true for one like design, where no gatekeeper approval is required for recognition.

                What are your thoughts on this?

                http://www.gallup.com/poll/165791/americans-prefer-male-boss.aspx

                My thoughts are, it shows that male dominance is a myth... women are just as responsible for the "male manager" stereotype as men are.

                Thanks for your comment, interested in your thoughts!

                0 points
                • Allison HouseAllison House, almost 4 years ago

                  Life rewards hard work, and those who are willing to work hard will rise to the top, regardless of gatekeepers or anything else.

                  You're describing a meritocracy, a pervasive, damaging and tightly-held myth in our industry that hides prejudice and discrimination.

                  This is true for any industry, but is especially true for one like design, where no gatekeeper approval is required for recognition.

                  This is not true for any industry. If you search for "myth of meritocracy", you'll see this harmful concept is being discussed in comedy and music right now.

                  4 points
                  • Michael Collins, almost 4 years ago

                    A "cracy" is a system created by humans. I'm talking about the fact that if you put everything you have into something, you get a result.

                    Newton's law in action. Any self-made man or woman will echo this. It transcends human systems.

                    1 point
                • Nicola RushtonNicola Rushton, almost 4 years ago

                  I think the link you shared actually proves my point about the subconscious bias we have towards putting/expecting men to be the ones in power - sure, both women and men are equally responsible for perpetuating this way of thinking - but it doesn't matter who's responsible for it, it still exists and it's still the world we're working in. I'm definitely not putting blame on men in general or on anyone - I'm just pointing out that the bias exists and it's something we have to consciously recognise and push against.

                  I see what you're saying too about how society doesn't teach men to be confident and ambitious, only expects it. But I think people often live up to what's expected of them, and a lot of people will usually follow the path of least resistance in that regard - it's easier to be what people want you to be than to be different. It's just another one of these difficult-to-define speedbumps that lie in women's paths and that most of the time aren't even noticed. I guess it's just an issue of that - theres a couple less speedbumps on some people's roads that just make it that bit easier for them to succeed, and judging by the state of our industry at the moment, those with the least speedbumps at the moment seem to be pretty often male and white.

                  0 points
          • Allison HouseAllison House, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

            Building up a public reputation also requires a heck of a lot of free time, which women are less likely to have.

            3 points
        • Nicola RushtonNicola Rushton, almost 4 years ago

          Nope, it means women are less represented.

          Also, you should meet more women... my graphic design course at university was probably 85% female/15% male.

          4 points
        • Mitch Malone, almost 4 years ago

          But don't you think that industries like technology, business and science are fields that men as a whole are more interested in than women?

          This premise is pervasive among, not only the tech industry but among culture at large (in the US at least).

          Women are consistently excluded, both indirectly and directly, from science and tech.

          Two really good primers on this phenomenon: here and here.

          3 points
        • Allison HouseAllison House, almost 4 years ago

          If less women are represented, isn't that just because less women are interested?

          This is often described as the "pipeline problem", and it's where a lot of folks start theorizing about why young women may or may not want to get into STEM. We can talk about it, but most of us aren't in a position to address that problem immediately. (If you'd like to be, volunteer and donate!)

          How can we help in our immediate context? Let's focus on the women we DO have. Women are leaving the industry forever (!) at twice the rate of men, and lack of recognition is absolutely part of that.

          Patrick is improving visibility and encouraging that behavior in others, which is totally valuable. He's also taking advantage of social momentum and building on an existing conversation. Killin' it, Patrick.

          (By the way, please consider describing women as women, rather than girls!)

          6 points
    • Art Vandelay, almost 4 years ago

      You're right. A bunch of dudes talking about women in the industry won't throw them into the proper starlight they deserve. But it will, hopefully, get them on our radar. Allow us to take note (and notice) of the work they do.

      I look at it similarly to asking friends about new music. They might know of a band that will soon become my favorite. So just hoping the happy folks on DN could shed some light on ladies who do great work.

      2 points
    • Jake Lazaroff, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

      It's a pretty nuanced issue.

      Women are definitely less interested in fields like engineering and business, but it's pretty easy to see the way this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy—i.e., fewer women are interested because women are represented far worse than men, both in terms of the actual community and especially when being granted recognition within the community. The lack of representation is both a cause and an effect of the lack of interest—the biases and obstacles women face becoming a successful designer or developer can discourage many before they even have a chance to start.

      Second, when giving recognition to fellow members of our community, we disproportionately celebrate the achievements of white men—to an even greater extent than they make up the community as a whole! Allison House has a great blog post about the lack of diversity in the net awards. Around 33% developers are women, yet women made up barely 13% of award nominees. It's easy to see that there's a problem somewhere.

      And finally, I don't remember where I read this quote (if someone could find the source it'd be awesome). It was in a blog post; the author (a man) was wondering whether he should be writing about diversity and increasing women's representation, as someone who doesn't face the same obstacles that women do. He posed the question to a woman, who told him that men speaking out about things like this is useful because men who don't listen to women [about issues like this] often listen to men. Since oftentimes women are discriminated against for even speaking up about issues like this, it's our responsibility to use our position to advocate for them. A bunch of guys posting about women doesn't necessarily increase women's representation directly, but it sure can help a bad situation :)

      Also, you can read the comment again and substitute "women" with people of color, LBGT , etc.

      4 points
      • Allison HouseAllison House, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

        Thanks for the shout out, Jake.

        He posed the question to a woman, who told him that men speaking out about things like this is useful because men who don't listen to women [about issues like this] often listen to men.

        That sounds a lot like a conversation I had with Wells, which he wrote about in "Guys, stop sexualizing women in your mockups". Women absolutely need allies, but I'd emphasize self-education, listening, and amplifying their voice (when applicable) before speaking up.

        5 points
  • Dwight BattleDwight Battle, almost 4 years ago

    While I love this topic, I kinda wish the topic was about Dope Underrepresented Designers and Developers. Because while I love learning about the talented females in this industry, I'd also love to discover some talented Black, Hispanic, and other underrepresented designers as well.

    5 points
    • Allison HouseAllison House, almost 4 years ago

      I'm with you. People want to discuss these things separately, but I think an intersectional approach is our best path forward.

      1 point
    • Art Vandelay, almost 4 years ago

      I'd love to see those lists as well.

      My mindset about equality is that most times, diversity doesn't create unity or equality, it just indentifies the differencecs amongst us.

      The point that I'm making is more that instead of having segmented lists of underrepresented designers & devs that focuses on race or sex or whatever, why not just identify as designers who deserve credit?

      0 points
      • Dwight BattleDwight Battle, almost 4 years ago

        But if that's the case, why start a thread about "Dope Female Designers and Designers"? Isn't that "identifying the differences amongst us"? And why is that a bad thing? Aren't different perspectives a good thing?

        I'm not picking on you, but I see this a lot-whenever the goal is empowering women, it's a grand ideal, and everyone gets behind it. But as soon as the topic becomes about empowering blacks or Hispanics or anyone else, all of a sudden it's not "creating unity or equality".

        I'm just saying, if we all can agree there are underrepresented among us, there's nothing wrong with helping all of them get some shine. Rising tide raising all boats, and all that.

        1 point
        • Allison HouseAllison House, almost 4 years ago

          Yeah. This is why stuff like Lean In is actually pretty toxic. If we don't take an intersectional approach, "women" defaults to white women; Black/Latin@/non-Asian PoC numbers continue to fall.

          1 point
    • Maurice CherryMaurice Cherry, almost 4 years ago

      Shameless plug here, but I'd definitely recommend checking out Revision Path. Inspiring Black Designers is another site that does interviews, and there's a Facebook group called African American Graphic Designers worth checking out.

      Techymag is/was a website dedicated to Hispanic web designers, but it doesn't look very active now. There's certainly an opportunity there.

      2 points
  • Christine RødeChristine Røde, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Eva Giselle is a badass. http://evagiselle.com

    Am I allowed to tout my own horn also?

    5 points
  • Eric BoyerEric Boyer, almost 4 years ago

    http://quitestrong.com/lust-list/

    4 points
  • John CanelisJohn Canelis, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Lea Verou fo sho.

    4 points
  • Ronen AckermanRonen Ackerman, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    I can't believe nobody has mentioned Nicole Sullivan. Her talks and blogs about OOCSS are essential for someone who wants to get serious about writing maintainable and reusable CSS. As someone who went from a designer to a frontend developer, this kind of stuff was exactly what I needed to understand how just powerful CSS is, and to stop thinking about it as text-based photoshop.

    3 points
  • Maurice CherryMaurice Cherry, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Great idea, Patrick!

    Tiffany B. Brown has/had a great list of Black and Hispanic women in web design here: http://tiffanybbrown.com/black-and-hispanic-women-in-web-design (It's a bit outdated, so not all of these links work.)

    Speaking of Tiffany, she's on 28 Days of the Web. There are more women on there who are designers and/or developers: Kendra Gaines, Michelle Langston, Andrea Pippins, and Jepchumba. Women are posted every other day.

    Lastly, I've got interviews with several women who are designers and/or developers over on Revision Path. Here's the list of women I've interviewed (or have interviews from) so far:

    It's also worth checking out the ladies (and gents) over at Model View Culture, a new website headed up by Amelia Greenhall and Shanley Kane: http://modelviewculture.com

    3 points
    • Allison HouseAllison House, almost 4 years ago

      Maurice! I'm all over this list! Incredible contribution.

      0 points
      • Maurice CherryMaurice Cherry, almost 4 years ago

        Thanks Allison! We've got three more interviews with women coming up within the next month, and there's still nine more profiles of women designers and developers on 28 Days of the Web through the end of this month.

        1 point
    • Dwight BattleDwight Battle, almost 4 years ago

      That Model View Culture site is great. That article about the "next Mark Zuckerberg" is incredible.

      1 point
  • Olivia Barrett, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    I’m super surprised that no one mentioned Julie Horvath! She‘s a designer and front-end developer at GitHub. She also runs Passion Projects, a monthly all-woman speaker series. http://julieannhorvath.com/

    Netta Marshall is a rad UI designer and great person to follow on Twitter. :) http://www.nettamarshall.com/

    Sarah Parmenter is a UI designer and the co-host of the glorious Happy Monday podcast. http://www.youknowwhodesign.com/

    Let’s also not forget Jen Myers. She’s a leader at Dev Bootcamp, designer, developer, and big on making this industry better for women. It really shows in her work. http://jenmyers.net/

    Oh, and Tess Rinearson, an engineer at Medium. She’s rad. http://tes.sr/

    And +1 for Eva Giselle! (mentioned earlier)

    3 points
  • Bruce V, almost 4 years ago

    MARY LOU from Codrops. I love how she pushes the limits on interactive design with her coding skills.

    3 points
  • Jessica PaoliJessica Paoli, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Thanks for this thread, Patrick & Allison House for fighting the good fight!

    Some of my web design/dev favs that haven't been listed:

    3 points
  • Jake Lazaroff, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Guys, Meagan Fisher!

    Also, some I know personally (not just from the interblags):

    3 points
  • Christine ChaoChristine Chao, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    love Lotta Nieminen's work! Great website too.

    3 points
  • Jarred BishopJarred Bishop, almost 4 years ago

    Badass Lady Creatives

    2 points
  • Shane BolandShane Boland, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Jenn Schiffer

    @JennSchiffer One of my favorite designers/developers on Twitter. She's hilarious. Check out her article on Pixel Perfect Design. It's great.

    2 points
    • Art Vandelay, almost 4 years ago
      1. She is great. Heard a few podcasts with her on them.
      2. That pixel-perfect article had me on the floor the first time I read it.
      1 point
  • Arun PattnaikArun Pattnaik, almost 4 years ago

    Would someone care to make a single list? Deep nesting is killing my eyes.

    2 points
  • Christina FowlerChristina Fowler, almost 4 years ago

    This is a great post :D Massive upvotes to all with positive contributions here.

    For female designers check out Allison House's mammoth Dribbble list which is incredible: http://dribbble.com/house/lists/10876-Women-Designers-and-Illustrators Crystal Nyguen has a list with a similar name here but with different designers: http://dribbble.com/crystalnguyen/lists/12042-Female-Designers

    My personal fave designers/developers to follow are... Regina Casaleggio: http://www.reginacasaleggio.com/ Veerle Pieters: http://veerle.duoh.com/ Meagan Fisher: http://owltastic.com/ Jo Klima: http://www.thedarlingtree.com/ Mary Lou: http://tympanus.net/codrops/ Anna Dorfman: http://www.annadorfman.com/ Janna Hagan: http://jannalynnhagan.com/ Sarah Mick: http://www.sarahmick.com/ Samantha Warren: http://samanthatoy.com/ Sarah Parmenter: http://www.youknowwhodesign.com/ Jessica Walsh: http://www.behance.net/jessicawalsh and of course, Jessica Hische

    2 points
  • Harsh PatelHarsh Patel, almost 4 years ago

    Yup! Elyse Holladay: - http://www.elyseholladay.com/ - https://twitter.com/elyseholladay

    1 point
  • Jonathan YapJonathan Yap, almost 4 years ago

    Manoela Ilic or Mary Lou, writes amazing articles on codrops. http://tympanus.net/codrops/author/crnacura/http://dribbble.com/crnacurahttps://twitter.com/crnacura

    1 point
  • Andrew CohenAndrew Cohen, almost 4 years ago

    Surprised there is no mention of Jina Bolton - http://sushiandrobots.com/

    1 point
  • Roger ClarkRoger Clark, almost 4 years ago

    ooh i love popularity contests!

    1 point
  • Hawke BassignaniHawke Bassignani, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Also Mel Choyce is a great Design Engineer at Automattic. I originally found her through this simple approach to restaurant websites.

    Edit: I just remembered that she is a primary contributor to WP’s new Dashicons icon font.

    1 point
  • Aubrey JohnsonAubrey Johnson, almost 4 years ago

    Netta is ballin @nettatheninja

    0 points
  • William Duijzer, almost 4 years ago

    Nelleke van der Maas, she's a great designer :) http://www.designedbynelleke.com

    0 points
  • Greg HoinGreg Hoin, almost 4 years ago

    Elise Huard: http://jabberwocky.eu/

    0 points
  • Beth DeanBeth Dean, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    I appreciate the sincere sentiment behind lists like this, you want to help promote women in the industry. But as a woman in tech who has been on a few of these lists, it always makes me feel demeaned and as though I'm getting mentioned only for being a woman. I actually dropped out of a speaking engagement when they proudly told me they included me after a male speaker mentioned their lack of diversity. I want to be known for being a good designer. Not for being a woman designer.

    0 points
    • Art Vandelay, almost 4 years ago

      Super fair point. Me personally, I don't follow as many designers who happen to be ladies. This was my attempt to learn about more designers who happen to be ladies and follow/read/review their work.

      1 point