During a road trip to go see a concert, I was talking to one our family friends who has worked in web design and development for several years. She was telling me that even after all of her years of working in the industry, and all of the experience she has, she still has people asking to talk to her boss. And she works for herself. She admitted that she even goes by “TJ” instead of her name, Tammy, so that she is taken seriously.
It is true that while design is considered a woman’s field by many, it is still predominately led by men. So, after my conversation with Tammy, I researched groups that focused on women in design. This was right around the time that I was researching other design weeks and through my search, I landed on Ladies, Wine & Design.
I am not one to let ideas marinate. So, I gave myself 24 hours to decide if I wanted to sign up as a Chapter Lead in Sacramento (we did not have one here, go figure). And I hosted my first event within weeks. Our small group met at the women-owned Revolution Wines for brunch and talked about what we were working on, our plans for the future, and of course, what it means to be a female designer in Sacramento. We had a couple more events and then I decided to put it to rest. However, that first event is what introduced me to both Carol Heard (who was Creative Manager at The Grid Agency) and Ashley Rodseth, Creative Director at Honey.
Wanting to make more of my AIGA SF membership, I looked into the different programs that they offered - and I saw that they had a Women in Leadership & Design (WILD) committee. Naturally, we didn’t have a chapter here. So, I signed up as the Sacramento Chair for that. And it was around this time that I met Monica Archuleta (now our Social Media Chair), who helped me organize our first, and last, WILD event - it was a panel of four female designers (including Carol and Ashley) and one male designer that covered gender equity in leadership. We included an exhibit full of female designers and artists, and had an interactive game at the end.
It was at that event that people asked why we weren’t going to just start a Women in Design group here. I was already working on Design Week and didn’t want to offer more than I could handle. So, for once, I let it marinate. Female designers kept coming up to me during and after Design Week to ask when we were going to offer programming for female designers, and it was then that I knew it was time.
We aim to give female designers a space to talk, listen, learn, grow and lead. We welcome everyone to our events because we understand that the problems that females face in the design industry affect everyone. We will hold monthly events that will range from talks, workshops, exhibits, tours, mixers and more.
To celebrate our launch, we’re hosting a party at Fitsom Studios on Tues, Aug 13 @ 6pm. Tickets go live next week! We hope that you will join us. If you’re interested in getting involved, please fill out our form here.