Document Type

Honors Thesis

Abstract

It is common among many career paths that men achieve higher status jobs as compared to women. However, the fight for women’s rights has been effective for many years and there has been a lot of progress made. Despite this progress, this gap still exists. My real interest is in what differentiates these men from women in the same careers. Graphic design is a gender-inclusive career that is not stereotyped towards one gender or another. Although it has been around since the early 1920s, it is still a relatively modern concept due to the new technologies that have changed the industry so greatly. College classes and even those in high school see a pretty equal split between male and female students, if anything there are generally more females. Yet, when examining graphic design on a career level, post-graduation, many of the employees are male. So, the question is, why? There are plenty of, if not more, females in the graphic design industry. As I am actively pursuing a career in graphic design, I have a greater interest in this anomaly since it will personally affect my life. My own career outcomes will become part of the data for future researchers who study this topic. This thesis examines the career trajectories of male and female graphic designers by comparing their education, work experience, and other factors to see what it is that got them to where they are today. I have sorted through many of the top design conferences to determine if male speakers dominate the lineups, and they do. Using the knowledge I have gained through in-depth research of the top female and male graphic designers worldwide, I have identified factors as to if, and why male graphic designers rule the industry. I have found that the simple lack of female leaders in graphic design is the answer to its own problem: the reason why there are such few female designers holding leadership positions is also that there are few female leaders to serve as role models.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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