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Industrial Design- Why is it a Desirable Career Choice For Women?

Pavithra Baskaran
December 1, 2021
6 min read

A Career in Industrial Design for Women? Why not?!

 

We live in a period where women are conquering what was considered unconquerable by the previous generations. We have reached a milestone in the women empowerment movement where there is nothing considered as “a man’s job” or “a women’s duty”. Despite the gender parity, women & men are experiencing more freedom to choose the career of their liking and excel in it. 

 

As the gates are being struck down & the glass ceilings are being shattered, the opportunities for women in Industrial design careers are flourishing. In fact, more women ought to consider a career in Industrial Design. You may ask why. Before we give you the answer, we need to understand what Industrial Design is. 

 

Defining Industrial Design & Its Role In Our Everyday Lives

career for women

The practice of Industrial Design (ID) involves creating products, digital devices, electronic objects, and services that millions of people around the world use every day. ID is the fundamental design process used to develop products based on the needs of the end-users.

 

Industrial Design aims at simplifying the end user’s experience. The irony of the design process is such that the genius & complication rests on the simplification procedure. Yet, the concept of Industrial Design is simple. It is based on real-world considerations - the product's functionality, appearance, and manufacturability and tying it in with human-centric values & foresight. The job of an industrial designer is to seamlessly blend these aspects through form and function to create objects that are empathetic towards the people who interact with them. 

 

This concept is deeply embedded in most objects that you use and interact with every day. Surprised? Everything from your kitchen accessories and living room furniture to your car, scooter, and smartphone results from a design process made by an industrial designer. 

 

 

The role of Industrial Designers in product development

 

Did you drive home in a comfortable car and simultaneously use your smartphone to call your friends? Are you using an ergonomically convenient chair while watching your favourite TV show? An industrial designer's ingenious capabilities are behind all these products that make your life more convenient and comfortable.

 

As the name implies, Industrial Design is a discipline that is all about free thought, creativity, conceptualization and execution. An industrial designer integrates these aspects to create a product with optimized form, fit, and function. The success of this integration often spells the success of the product in the consumer market.

 

Of late, industrial designers play an instrumental role in establishing corporate branding and identity through exceptional design processes. Their expertise in current market trends and consumer preferences is a crucial asset in the ideation & innovation of consumer goods.

 

Furthermore, an industrial designer's role is multifaceted. They collaborate with all the major people involved in a product's lifecycle, from the stakeholders and marketing team to the engineers and manufacturers. In short, an industrial designer is a formidable force behind the functionality, affordability, and innovativeness of a product's design.

 

Now this brings us back to the question, "Can women consider a career in Industrial Design?" We ask, "Why not?" Read on to understand why.

 

Why more women are needed in the field of Industrial Design? 

seat belt women in design

Ever wondered why seat belts are uncomfortable for your mom while traveling by car? Or for yourself if you have noticed. That is because they were designed by men without considering the implications & effectiveness on women. Because of our anatomy, seat belts are less safe for women. A LOT LESS SAFE! 

 

Essential and life-saving products such as seat belts on cars are designed by men without much insight into the effectiveness for women as the car crash dummies used during the tests of the durability of these belts were predominantly 50th percentile men. 

 

Design consultancies work in terms of the global market while designing products but the teams themselves rarely have the diversity that reflects global perspectives. The impact of having a narrow set of opinions and voices in the design labs has far-reaching implications. 

 

But on the bright side, major ID firms have realized this drawback and are encouraging more women to take up prominent roles in the field of design. The industry is shifting its course to be more inclusive and opening up more opportunities for women than ever before in the history of the world. From better pays to better roles, you can find leading women in many areas of ID. But the numbers need to increase and the industry knows that.  

 

Reasons Why Industrial Design Course Is Most Ideal For Women 

 

Investing in an Industrial Design course is a clever decision for women today. The field is inviting more female designers to incorporate women’s perspectives to address the issue of male-centric designs. This not only opens up more career opportunities for women in the field of Industrial design but also is a step forward in making Design more Universal and inclusive. 

 

An education in Industrial Design allows you to lay the foundation for a flourishing career that allows you to unleash your designing capabilities. It is a unique opportunity that empowers you to design products & digital experiences that reflect women’s social issues & challenges. Above all, you are unlocking yet another door for female empowerment which allows women to design the products that they use every day. It also opens up more opportunities for the subsequent generations of women.

 

A degree in ID holds many promises -

 

  • Wider career opportunities

ID is a course that imparts flexible skills that do not restrict you to any particular role. How exciting is it to know that you can pursue your dream to become a designer or a model maker armed with a degree in ID? The flexibility of the ID skill set also allows you to carve a long-lasting career as an educator or researcher.

 

  • A step towards more universal designs

Gain a certain proficiency that allows you to understand the flaws of the existing designs. Not just women, all people can benefit from a degree in ID as it allows a more diverse design culture, opening up the field for more universal designs which serve the unique requirements of each individual or a group of individuals. 

 

  • Boost your technical & creative skills 

When you head out to carve a niche for yourself, you want to be suitably armed with the technical skills and creative proficiency to excel in your career. The skills imparted in an Industrial Design course prepare you to become exceptional problem-solvers in various avenues like design, strategy and R&D. With these skill sets, you can explore your capabilities in disciplines beyond design, like entrepreneurship, sculpting, and creative arts. 

 

  • Opportunities to give back to the community with wholesome experiences

As an industrial designer, you experience a reward cycle which is solving genuine problems, devising ideas, creating product designs, prototyping, and the final production. When your design comes to life and is appreciated by the end-user, it could be the most rewarding moment of your life. Your role as a designer helps to play a significant part in simplifying and benefiting livelihoods in the smallest or the biggest of ways.

 

  • Designing products that impact the world

 Your skills transform your designs to not just be aesthetic, but simple, minimal & most importantly, functional. Industrial designers are responsible for creative life-saving apparatus, mobile phones, healthcare devices, fitness gear, and even day-to-day objects such as a simple ballpoint pen. With a degree in ID, your design decisions enhance the usability, functionality, effectiveness, feasibility & elegance of these products. 

 

Women Industrial Designers also help in bringing a fresh perspective to FMCG products. Many organizations are investing in women designers to design & market products that are specifically for women. Thus, a career in Industrial Design is certainly worth considering for women in particular. 

 

 

How To Encourage Women To Join The Club? 

women in design

A career in ID for women benefits society at large and helps to bridge the gender gap. As our society moves forward, women in ID will play a crucial role in achieving that advancement. Moreover, the diversity of gender offers the possibility of creating more inclusive designs to provide better experiences.

 

Issues like gender parity and pay equity are slowly vanishing as more women become an intricate part of the design world. Here's what we can do to encourage more women to embrace Industrial Design as a lifelong career:

 

  • Stories of female industrial designers need to be shared & reshared to inspire other women & children to pursue a career in ID.
  • Encourage women designers to seek out sponsors or mentors to guide them in their career decisions.
  • Women should be given significant roles in succession planning. 
  • Mentor young women to take up diverse ID careers in various industrial sectors.
  • Educate institutions about women in design and the significance of design roles in society. 
  • Being an ally to women in ID is critical in accelerating gender equality & inclusive designs.
  • Increasings your spectrum of awareness to realize & understand the biases you possess.
  • Realizing gender balance in design means better products for everyone. 

 

To Conclude:

 

The world today is witnessing two major changes:

 

  1. The increasing role of women in reinventing many disciplines.
  2. The impact of design in our everyday lives.

 

Combine both, and we have the perfect recipe that propels the demand and promise for Industrial Design as a career for women. At DOT School of Design, we offer a 4-year B.Des course in Industrial Design, preparing students to take on rewarding and challenging career opportunities. Enroll today and set yourself on the path of exceptional growth!

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