Designers aren’t the only ones who are struggling to find work.
Some female designers say they are finding it hard to get hired.
Many of them have to put their careers on hold to look for work.
In a survey of 1,500 women in the US and Canada, the National Women’s Law Center found that 44% of female designers said they were looking for work because of a lack of career prospects.
In addition, more than half of female respondents said they felt their employer had not been supportive or welcoming of their gender identity.
Many women say they feel undervalued.
“I felt like I was being judged more than I was for my gender identity,” said Kym Schreiber, a 30-year-old Chicago-based graphic designer who said she has struggled to find a job.
Schreiber said that in her career path, she felt like a “feminine” in many ways.
“It wasn’t that I was a man-hating person, but I had to deal with a lot of assumptions that women weren’t good enough, weren’t competent enough,” she said.
But for a designer who wants to pursue a career in the industry, Schreib said the industry is not yet prepared for the fact that many women aren’t as ready to take on the challenges that come with a job as male designers.
“If you are a woman, you are not going to get the job done,” she added.
“If you have a male friend who is working on the same thing, it is a lot harder.”
Schreib, who has been in the design business for about six years, said she had trouble finding jobs.
“I was working with women, but it was all about male and female roles, and I felt like that wasn’t inclusive,” she explained.
Schriber, who said that her friends’ employers did not acknowledge that she was a woman in the workplace, said that many female designers have struggled to secure employment in the past.
“When you’re an emerging designer and you’re trying to get into an industry that has a lot more female-friendly policies, that you know is a little bit of a problem,” she told ABC News.
“There are still a lot fewer female designers than male designers in the field, and so it is still a struggle.”
Women are still underrepresented in the creative industries, even though the overall number of women has risen.
In 2013, there were 1.7 million women in full-time creative jobs in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The gender gap in that industry is much larger, with 3.3 million female-to-male employees and 1.5 million female to male employees.
“This industry is still very much underrepresented and women still need to work harder to be successful,” said Kristy Hoeppner, an associate professor of marketing at The Ohio State University who specializes in marketing and sales at the university’s Columbus campus.
Hoeppninger said that there are also still a lack and a stigma attached to being a woman working in the arts.
“There are certain industries that have an expectation that women aren’s role model, that they are a princess and that they should be doing things like being a mother,” she noted.
“But when you look at that role model in the business world, it doesn’t mean that it is OK to have a female voice or that it’s OK to ask questions about women’s experience.”
Hoeffner said that while women can work hard to be seen as good enough in certain areas, the industry still struggles to accommodate them.
“It’s not as simple as just having a great body, as if we all are so smart and capable, but as much as we want to be the best, we still need help,” she remarked.
“We still need a voice and a presence in the office.”
Many women said they feel like they are undervalued in the craft.
“You can be an amazing designer and still be overlooked because of your gender,” said Julie Ruppert, a freelance graphic designer in Seattle, Washington.
“That’s not fair to women.
I am not a perfect person, I have my flaws.
But I have a passion for the arts.”
Ruppert said that even though she is a woman and the workplace is still more male-dominated, she has always been able to work with others because she has “never been judged on who I am.”
In addition to the stereotypes of female and male designers, Rupp, who also works as a graphic designer, said the design industry has a history of sexism.
“We all have our own way of doing things,” she observed.
“But the whole idea of being ‘too masculine’ is still prevalent.”
Roppert said she was uncomfortable working at a company that was “all about women,” even though it was part of a