2 December 2018

Gender Equality Design Group Expands Across UK

The organisation, which lobbies to get more women into design leadership roles, has been based in London for the last three years, but has now also opened branches in Liverpool and Bristol.

By Sarah Darwood

Gender Equality

Research recently found that women in graphic design earn £4,000 less per year than men.


Kerning the Gap, an organisation devoted to securing equal opportunities for men and women in the design industry, has expanded into the South and North of England.


The organisation, founded by Nat Maher, who is also CEO at studio Pollitt & Partners, looks to increase representation of women in senior design roles.


Where are all the female creative directors?


According to Kerning the Gap, 70% of graphic design students are women, yet only 11% of creative directors are women, showing how women drop off the pay and promotion scale as they progress in their careers.


Research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also recently found that a significant gender pay gap exists in the design industry: female product designers earn £7,000 less per year than men in the field, while female graphic designers earn £4,000 less than their male counterparts.


Kerning the Gap runs events and panel discussions that look to promote networking and create a community, and has an online blog, podcast and a newsletter.


It also partners with organisations such as the Design Business Association (DBA) to create and run campaigns, and runs a mentorship scheme, bringing together young and up-and-coming female designers with experienced professionals in senior roles.


Kerning the Gap founded three years ago


It was founded in 2015 in a bid to “support female design talent” and “encourage more women to reach leadership positions”, according to Maher, but until now, has only existed in London.


Now, the organisation has opened two regional branches in Bristol and Liverpool, partnering with design studios based in those cites – Kinneir Dufort and Uniform, respectively.


Both new branches will host events across their regions of South West and North West England and will also host local mentorship schemes.


“Being London-centric won’t cut it”


“Kerning the Gap is here to support all women in the industry, so being London-centric won’t cut it,” Maher says. “The gender gap exists outside of our capital, so it’s only natural that [we] should too.


“Our launches in the South West and North West are just the beginning of an exciting journey,” she adds. “Through our network of determined women from a range of sectors, roles, disciplines and locations, we will create change that allows women to grow, encourage one another on their journeys, and provide inspiration to the next generation of leaders.”


Maher is currently seeking more locations for Kerning the Gap and is looking for local people in various regions to help set up new branches. Email hello@kerningthegap.comto express interest.


Kerning the Gap launched in Bristol last month, and is due to launch in Liverpool this month. Find out more about the Liverpool launch event here. For more information on Kerning the Gap, head here.