The Design Council's Design Economy Report 2018 was launched recently. Sophie Reid from The Design Council wrote a report "Diversity and business performance – is there a link?" This highlights the value a range of positive impacts which diversity in employees, bring to a creative business. From the value of a variety of opinions for innovation, to the effect of a diverse workforce on the outward reputation of a business. Studies included primary research with senior staff, as well as larger surveys of employees."
The report also found that "overall, women form the minority in six of the eight design subsectors included in the design economy, with product and industrial design being the most male-dominated (95%) followed by digital design (85%) and architecture and built environment (80%). This is despite women making up 63% of all students studying creative arts and design courses at university, and 38% of students studying architecture, building and planning. Even when employed in design, women typically earn less and are less likely than men to be in senior roles.
The design economy is 78% male, a higher figure than for the wider UK workforce (53% male). The design economy employs a slightly higher proportion of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups than are employed in the wider UK economy (13% compared with 11%), however there is some indication that BAME designers are less likely to be in senior roles. More research is needed to understand the extent of barriers to BAME designers’ progression and the mechanisms by which these might operate."