WhyDesign’s fifth International Women’s Day event was celebrated in style at the Sugar Club on Thursday 10th March. This year, Aoife Dooley steered the discussion on 'Breaking The Bias' within the world of design between internationally-acclaimed keynote speakers, Brenda Romero, Creative Director at Romero Games and Adam Murphy, Experience Director at Philips.
In 2022, we aim to create a more inclusive, balanced and successful creative sector with you. Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable and inclusive. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias, which was the topic of discussion at WhyDesign’s fifth International Women’s Day event.
We were delighted to see a packed house and to bring the Design Community back together for our first in-person event for the past 2 years, to celebrate in style at the Sugar Club on Thursday 10th March.
“We all laughed and cried tonight” - audience members.
What a difference a night makes! Internationally acclaimed designers and phenomenal speakers Adam Murphy, Experience Director at Philips and Brenda Romero, Creative Director at Romero Games and MC Aoife Dooley wowed the audience with shared moments of serenity, laughter and self-reflection. This year, International Women’s Day was not only about celebrating women; it was about celebrating all of us and our shared human experience.
First up, our incredible MC the award-winning illustrator, author, graphic designer, and comedian and public speaker Aoife Dooley shared her experiences of having autism, and the challenges she faced working in an office environment. We all have a responsibility to our colleagues to ensure they can work comfortably and that neurodiversity is supported.
“Can we design ourselves out of our bias?”
Adam’s beautiful, poetic soliloquy paid tribute to his Maori heritage, reminding us all that respect for each other's cultures will help us admire our differences instead of letting them divide us. “We all hold the tools and the potential to make a more inclusive and equitable place for all,” he stated, before challenging us to “design ourselves out of our bias” and question our capability to do so and leave preconceptions behind.
“It matters not what one is but what one does.” - Adam Murphy
Adam Murphy - Experience Director at Philips.
Although Brenda’s presentation filled the room with laughter, it addressed some very serious and harmful biases that are still overwhelmingly prevalent in today’s world, in particular in her field.
“I didn’t see myself represented in games until 1981, and everyone deserves to see themselves represented.” - Brenda Romero
Despite being the driving force behind the development of computers, women are still being neglected within the tech industry and games also lack ethnic diversity and racial minority inclusion. We, as designers, have a responsibility to design a more inclusive world from start to finish.
“The bias in games is engineered, therefore it can be changed.” - Brenda Romero
Brenda Romero - BAFTA award-winning game director, entrepreneur, artist, Fulbright award recipient and studio director of Romero Games.
We want to thank everyone who attended and to all our speakers, sponsors, helping hands on the day and wonderful host The Sugar Club.
The event also provided an opportunity to reflect on inequalities related to race, identity, sexuality and ableism as well as gender. While our sector has a need for progressive design companies who want to champion female creatives in Ireland and design a more gender balanced world, the debate goes beyond breaking sex and gender barriers.
Let’s create a more inclusive creative sector and world together.
Keep on making a difference.
Find the full WhyDesign 2022 photo album on our IDI Facebook page.
IDI team and WhyDesign 2022 MC Aoife Dooley