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Mar 15, 2022 By IIDA HQ
Collective D(esign) | Women Lead Design: New Changemakers
In response to our rapidly changing world, IIDA brings you a design-focused dialogue on the effects of a global crisis. Join us for these important community discussions.
By IIDA HQ Mar 15, 2022
Published in

Collective D(esign) is a webinar series from IIDA that provides resources, information, and inspiration to the design community. These virtual sessions explore design from the lens of its larger societal impact as well as examining influencing factors and industries.

For the first episode in our third season of the program, we convened leading changemaking women who are positively impacting equity and balance within the design industry. They discuss the role of women in design during this time of significant change and what feminism means in the present., We cover navigating one’s career, the importance of mentorship, advice, and inspiration. Find out what changes are being made to close the diversity and gender gap, how we can all play a role in progress, and what we can be optimistic about.

Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA
, Executive VP and CEO of IIDA

Megan Dobstaff, IIDA
, NCIDQ, LEED GA, design director, senior associate, Gensler, London

Tara Headley, IIDA, NCIDQ, adjunct professor, Savannah College of Art and Design

Visit Collective D(esign) | Women Lead Design: New Changemakers's page in the Academy section for more information on how to earn 1 IDCEC CEU

Key takeaways from Tara Headley and Megan Dobstaff on how EDI can effectively change the design industry:

“We have a responsibility to make sure that the work that they're doing is authentic. So there's a lot of nice things that people are doing, but it sometimes feels like they're doing it to say they've done it and not putting in the authenticity and the intent behind the work to diversify or increase equity.” reflects Tara.

Collectively working together is a huge part of creating lasting change within EDI.

“It's really just realizing the power that we have now and that people are actually listening. It's looking around and saying what can I do to move this, not what is someone else going to do for me. It's making sure that we get it's a joint effort.”

With young designers emerging in the industry, old ideals are being challenged to make room for new ideas from a younger generation.

Tara: “People on the younger side of things now entering the industry don't necessarily have the experience and knowledge, backed by the history and longevity. But I think that's a good thing, because they're asking the questions of why is it this way, and why are we doing things like this when it can be better.”

Mentorship can make a substantial difference in a designer's life. Megan and Tara offer advice as emerging designers continue to change and grow in the industry.

“Listening, learning and never arriving at the table empty handed or without a point of view. And that goes for design and for all these other types of diversity and inclusion conversations that are being had.”

“Just knowing the power of a network and I think for emerging designers especially you can never start too early.” Tara adds.

Cheryl: “The influence that designers have within our industry is amazing, and we sometimes talk about the influence of an entire firm but the influence that a single designer can have over an aspect of a project or a client is incredible and powerful.”

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