POPULATION DISPARITY IN THE VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS FIELD
Demographics of this country are changing. By the year 2050, it’s predicted that current minorities will comprise more than 50 percent of the population.
The creative workforce of visual communications has perpetually suffered from lack of diversity; it does not represent the general population. Consequently, work being produced today reflects a limited viewpoint.
As cultural creators and curators, how can we meet the needs of a country that has one of the most diverse populations in the world when our own field lacks diversity?
For our culture to thrive, we should encourage a more inclusive society that embraces our differences. To find new solutions to society’s challenges, we need many different types of people bringing distinct cultural perspectives, thoughts and ideas.
Greater racially, ethnically and culturally diverse workplaces function more effectively than more homogeneous teams by almost every measure. Members from diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives foster innovation by welcoming new ideas and avoiding cultural bias.
While industry demographics have improved slightly since the sixties, many challenges still remain: lack of outreach to kids, their parents and cultural communities to show that careers in visual communications are viable; appropriate training and mentoring programs for different age levels; help for kids preparing to apply to college and also financial assistance and scholarships. Programs that facilitate these will bring about a more inclusive environment in our field.
photos courtesy AIGA Seattle LINK, AIGA WorldStudio, ArtCenter, Inneract Project, Parsons Scholars, Project Osmosis, University of the Arts. Website cover page photo by Steve Belkowitz, courtesy UArts Pre-College Program.