AIGA Together

According to the United States Census, we are expected to have a minority-majority population by the year 2043. With these inevitable demographic changes, workplaces will have to reflect this overall shift. However, many industries do not have workforces that reflect this.

In graphic design, about 86% of designers are Caucasian. As recently as 1991, 93%cof designers were Caucasian, so there has been very little minority growth in the field in almost a quarter of a century. AIGA, the premier professional association for graphic artists, is looking to tackle this issue with a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. Led by graphic designer and illustrator Antoinette Carroll, the Task Force consists of a diverse array of graphic designers, communication professionals, and students throughout the nation from different backgrounds and experiences. (Full disclosure: Revision Path’s founder and EIC Maurice Cherry is also a member of this task force.)

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Antionette Carroll is one of the leading people championing for diversity in the design community. As the chair of AIGA’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, she’s spearheading initiatives with the organization to increase the numbers of women and minorities in the field through outreach, mentorship, and more.

Our conversation explores why diversity is so important when it comes to design, why inclusion is a crucial part of solving this problem, as well as a bit about her own background and career. You’ll definitely hear more about her work in the future!

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Although signs are showing that the job market is improving, the unemployment rate for African-Americans in the U.S. is still more than double the unemployment rate for whites. While there are a number of reasons why this is the case, many experts say that a lack of a strong network of professionals will hinder many people’s job searches.

Finding a job is about who you know, and that can make the search even more difficult for African-Americans. In a 2013 study published by the Russell Sage Foundation, Professor Nancy DiTomaso of Rutgers University says that hidden forms of racial inequality tied to seemingly innocuous things like networking are holding black job-seekers back. In a job market where hiring is increasingly based on personal connections and internal employee referrals, African-Americans are at a disadvantage because they don’t have as much “social capital” and aren’t as connected to networks that can help them land good jobs compared to other races.

For black professionals in the fields of web development, web design, and graphic design, finding a strong professional network is especially important. The combination of fierce competition for jobs and the smaller number of black professionals in the field may mean that you will be passed over for opportunities. However, by following these tips, you’ll be able to create and establish a network of professionals that will enable you to to take your career to the next level.

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As the founder and CEO of Model View Culture, techie, author and entrepreneur Shanley Kane is one of the most outspoken advocates on the need for diversity in the field of technology. Model View Culture publishes the work of a myriad of activists and authors who provide commentary on the pressing social issues that permeate the tech community, ranging from women’s rights, race, LGBTQ, and many other important topics.

Since its creation, Model View Culture has made a lasting impression in the tech community by giving voice to members of the tech community who might otherwise be ignored. I had the honor of talking to Shanley about Model View Culture and its impact in the world of technology.