Gender Discrimination?

Well, I’m new to the boards here but I was so enraged by seeing the attached link, I decided to start posting. job details -- error encountered Now, I don’t know what gender it takes to be a good designer, but I figure that a good solid designer will deliver a product that is satisfactory no matter if they are male/female or whatever products they are designing. I really don’t think being a female gives you an advantage into how you can create packaging for feminine products nor do I think a guy can deliver a better product because it’s mens shaving accessories etc. etc. Now I wouldn’t consider applying because I’m just not interested. But I’m thinking if someone who wanted to apply only to find out that you’re not the right ethnic background, gender, or lifestyle preference is outright discrimination. I really want people to see this because this is seriously insulting to designers in general. Now I’m a pretty open minded guy when it comes to this stuff and I judge on character and talent and not where the hell someone came from or what gender they are…etc.etc. Just an ordinary Joe that’s looking out for us designers in general.

Not to mention that it’s illegal to post such a requirement.

who cares… have you ever heard of BOOMBANG before? i haven’t either.

The company obviously doesn’t understand design…or at least good design if they are posting a job like that. But I’m with daaphearthrob…who cares!

In the past I’ve attempted to specifically recruit a female designer to soften the look of the products we were developing. Customers like Target had told us our products looked too masculine and needed to connect better with their core demographic (90% women). I had to agree with them. We had an all male staff and we were punching out some manly looking stuff. Sure, we could try to research trends and colors to appeal to women, but in the end we were from Mars and our end users are from Venus.

I never specifically advertised for a female designer because of the legal ramifications, but it’s within the rights of a company to hire the best qualified candidate for a position. In this case they want a women - so let them hire a women.

2 very different statements back to back.

Being the best qualified has nothing to do with gender. There are female designers who design power tools and male designers doing some of the finest couture women’s fashion design.

Imagine flipping the gender in your second statement.


Boyz usually get their manties in a bunch when it’s “we’re looking for a female designer” type of situation, but a bit more oblivious to gender discrimination when roles are reversed. It’s tough to face gender discrimination, when you’re not used to it.

Ya, it’s wrong. Ya, it’s illegal. Yet more known companies do that as well. The same sentiment is expressed much more often in a “casual conversation” format. When I was looking for a job right after school, a big, much more known than Boombangwhatever, company was like, “OMG we totally need a female designer to bring some female input/point of view because more females buy our products and you might “work” for us!”. (I’m softening this up, it sounded way worse IRL, and I’m sure the guys talking to me had no clue how inappropriate it was).

I did my best polite “Uh-huh”, and never followed up.

No, men aren’t from Mars, and women aren’t from Venus. It’s the Earth. It’s lazy to think that men can’t push their boundaries and gosh…try to maybe attempt to relate to 51% of the population?


I went to school w/ a couple of guys who had a very whimsical, playful, “soft” design style.

…and gasp they weren’t even gay! (sarcasm, obviously).

Side comment for melovescookies. I love your American dream statement…go team America…F yeah!

Everyone can agree that a diverse design firm is a good one, right? One with women and men and with people of different ages and ethnicities too.

So how does a design firm full of men diversify itself without seeking out women specifically?

Its a tricky situation, one that I’ve experienced first hand. I don’t want to be denied a job because a firm only wants a woman designer, but I also do not want to work for a firm that is all men. Has anyone resolved this sort of thing within their office?

yeah now we require a 8x10 glossy head shot along with your resume and portfolio… ha!

only kidding of course.

Companies are looking for a variety of opinions, life experiences, approaches to work etc…and it’s dangerous to assume that a person of different gender, sexual orientation, different ethnicity than yours will posses qualities different from yours…It’s also dangerous to assume that all of the representative of a specific group would be “the same”. How asinine would it be if a company looked for “Black industrial designers to help develop black-centric products for consumer package good companies”…? Yes, a black person from Memphis, TN, a black person in Nigeria, and Somali refugee in Paris, France have a shitload in common, right? I can’t fathom why people keep thinking that a female designer would automatically relate to all of the other women in the whole world.

You can evaluate the skills and qualities your existing design team lacks and look for a candidate that would fill in the empty spots. Craft your ad for an open position carefully so it communicates clearly what specific qualities you’re looking for…If you’re in a consultancy full of white middle aged dudes who all went to the same 2 schools in Midwest and all like cars, getting a transgendered half Jamaican half Japanese person in a wheelchair to meet your “diversification quote” probably is not the best approach.

I’m interested in the basic, fundamental differences that men and women have from each other. In varying degrees, women are more peripheral and men are more direct.

So I can begin to understand why the guy from Boombang made the mistake of explicitly requesting female designers. Even though the company attempts to appeal to women, this masculine approach of doing so muddles the message.

Tom Peters has written a lot about women in business (especially in Re-Imagine), and it resonated very well with me. If you’re interested in his thoughts and research on the topic, visit his site…

isn’t this is what research is for?

I don’t think women and men are fundamentally different to begin with. The way we raise girls and boys, on the other hand, is/was fundamentally different. People right now raise their kids in a much more “unis3x” approach than they used to even 20-30 years ago.
Girls are encouraged to develop their communication skills, look at the typical girl toys. They’re almost always character based. The “girl” toys encourage storytelling/interpersonal connections. Combine that with the advances of feminism…and you get current strong female business leaders. They have strong persuasive power, they are great communicators…and they wear their ovaries on the outside. And all of the rich white dudes in the marketing suddenly realize that the Earth doesn’t revolve around the Penis.

I think, gender boundaries/gender perceptions/gender stereotypes are being challenged right now and it all will continue to blur…as we’re putting cute little eyes on Bob the Builder machines, and show little boys that it’s not about trucks, it’s all about interpersonal connections ,and show little girls that Dora can do it.

no joke, its common in europe to not only ask for a pic, but also marital status. no idea why it would be relevant, but seen it myself on job and applications.

for sure though in the US (and Canada) there are laws against discrimination by sex, race, disability, etc. dunno why this job would post such a blatent disregard for legal issues, but perhaps an oversight by an overzealous HR dept.

I can understand a desire by a predominately male ID dept to get some diversity, but wouldnt expect it so obvious.

anyhow, perhaps not a likely nice place to work?