Makerversity’s Motivational Women Makers

By Krisi

Makers, doers, creatives and entrepreneurs. An industry filled will passion and excitement. An industry overflowing with wonderful world-changing, life-improving ideas and incentive. We see this in our members and are inspired by this field and culture. Like most industries, it is a gender-imbalanced one. There’s definitely movement towards a more equal culture, and we think it’s essential to shine a light on some of our motivational women makers to encourage this shift.

We’ve interviewed a handful of members from Makerversity London and Amsterdam to get their insight today on International Women’s Day.

AMS Egle Tuleikyte S. E. T. (Atmospheric Wood)

Do you think it’s different or even difficult being a woman in a male dominated industry?
I think it can be a bit frustrating as sometimes it can take more time to be taken seriously but still definitely possible. Also if it makes sense, the knowledge that you are not being taken seriously could become your advantage. At least that is how I prefer to think about it.

What steps do you think we can take to equal out the gender disparity in the creative industry?
Primarily the empowerment of the younger generation. Women as well as men in education being taught against stereotyping would ensure a positive change for the future. Also initiatives for professional networking events for women serves as a great antidote for a male-based networking culture.

Why are you proud to be a woman maker/designer/entrepreneur in today’s society?
I am proud of the opportunities we have created for ourselves as well as feeling entitled to make the decisions regarding my career freely.

Who is one of your most inspirational woman figures (maker or otherwise)?
Zaha Hadid probably would be one of the first in my list.  As the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize and many more afterwards, she entered the world of architecture, widely paved by men, loudly and started a significant change in how we see architects today.

Other important name for me would be Anna Atkins, an English botanist and photographer. She is often considered the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images.

Where else would you like to see more gender equality?
Carpentering and architecture are areas personally important to me therefore I would like to see more equality there.

LDN Millie Maidens / Alexis Cuddyre ADAY

Do you think it’s different or even difficult being a woman in a male-dominated industry?
A: We’re part of a really interesting category right now – where fashion meets tech, so there is actually a really beautiful, diverse and inclusive culture, particularly in our two home cities New York and London. On top of that, the startup community is incredibly open and supportive too.
M: Personally no. At ADAY I work alongside many talented ambitious and passionate individuals. I am lucky in that my gender has not held me back, but others are not so lucky. Therefore at ADAY we only work with companies and individuals that are working towards our same beliefs and morals in every aspect of our company.

What steps do you think we can take to equal out the gender disparity in the creative industry?
A: Awareness and education is a great start. Talking the gap, learning about it and speaking to friends and colleague about how they are tackling the issue is really important and helpful. Promoting role models of all backgrounds and genders is also important. If kids can grow up seeing themselves in their heroes, they will grow up with fewer biases.

Why are you proud to be a woman maker/designer/entrepreneur in today’s society?
M: I am proud to be surrounded by women that excel and implement change in their everyday lives. We are fed up of waiting for change to happen so we are getting out there and actively making that change happen.

Have you done anything for IWD?
M: For international women’s day, we at ADAY have worked with female customers, entrepreneurs, artists to create postcards of their favourite slogans/quotes from women’s marches and marches over the years. These postcards will be included in every purchase on International Women’s Day and proceeds from our sales are going to the Malala Fund.

AMS Kim Band We Smell the Rain

What steps do you think we can take to equal out the gender disparity in the creative industry?
For men for 1 month to do the following: wear dresses, heels, makeup etc, be at work on time, wear a different outfit each day, have a dose of female emotions to deal with each day and eat salads. Well that’s a start.

Why are you proud to be a woman maker/designer/entrepreneur in today’s society?
Because I broke away from the normal way of doing things and I am doing what I love, even though it’s not the easiest option. I feel free, alive and fortunate to be able to be in this position.

Where else would you like to see more gender equality?
The government.

LDN Rachael Archer (U25 member) Arlo

Do you think it’s different or even difficult being a woman in a male dominated industry?
I think sometimes it can have its challenges. I often feel that as a young female I may not be taken quite as seriously as my older male counter parts, especially as my presence is not particularly authoritative or dominant.

What steps do you think we can take to equal out the gender disparity in the creative industry?
I think for a difference to be made we need to start addressing gender representation in higher education and universities by exposing students to a diverse range of both male and female creatives who are already in the industry. Exposure to more women in varying creative fields will inspire students to envision themselves in such a role. It is important young people are presented with a range of inspiring people to have as role models and goals.

AMS Wasabii Ng Multidisciplinary Designer

Do you think it’s different or even difficult being a woman in a male dominated industry?
I think it can get intimidating at first, but just be strong and do your thing they will get you after a while.

Why are you proud to be a woman maker/designer/entrepreneur in todays society?
I think more women are finally getting recognition after all that they have done over the years. I am not proud I just think it’s about time. My dad brought me up telling me that his mum and my mum are the best and the strongest because without them there wouldn’t be him. He has the most utmost respect for women. We need more men like that haha.

Who is one of your most inspirational woman figures (maker or otherwise)?
Isabell Tasseff-Elenkoff, a technician I met during my BA studies in Chelsea College of Art. She was such an inspiration, no complaints, just embraced and saw it as a strength as being the only female working in the workshops.

LDN Purva Chawla Material Driven

Do you think it’s different or even difficult being a woman in a male dominated industry?
I’m not sure I can say broadly that architecture or design (the two realms I work in) are male-dominated industries, but I can say that I have always felt the pressure to work harder and with less room for error than male counterparts. The fact that any kind of pause by a woman–professional or personal–can affect growth and recognition definitely makes it more challenging.

What steps do you think we can take to equal out the gender disparity in the creative
industry?
Transparency. Hiring, contracts, compensation, benefits, support for employees–this information
need to be discussed more transparently and uniformly–both drawing more women to the
creative industry and retaining them. And of course, more women at the very top of our industry pyramids–they have the power to pull in more women and elevate them.

 

Why are you proud to be a woman maker/designer/entrepreneur in todays society?
Being a woman entrepreneur is frightening and thrilling every single day. But looking around me,
the biggest encouragement to keep going, is knowing so many women who have built
successful business, pursued exceptional ideas, and have managed holistic lives alongside. On
the rare days I sit down and give myself a moment to process it all, the fact that I can count
myself in this growing cohort today gives me a huge sense of pride.

Who is one of your most inspirational woman figures (maker or otherwise)?
There are so many stupendous women makers I follow and am inspired by daily. But the biggest
personal inspiration is my maternal grandmother. A stellar journalist who travelled the world, she
worked rigorously, and well into her seventies, till we lost her. She was also a faultless single
mother to two kids, and the kind of grandmother who traveled overseas for every milestone in
my life. If that doesn’t symbolise the combination of brain, strength, gumption, and love that
women are, then what does?

Where else would you like to see more gender equality?
In leadership roles–as the heads of organisations, creative brands and universities.
Creative programs tend to see more women in the classroom than men (at least my two design
schools did), but then what happens as women move into the workforce?

Thanks to all our members and all the women and men working towards a gender equal world!

 

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Krisi
Posted By Krisi
Managing Director
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