I've often heard the argument (regarding racial diversity in tech among other fields) that the diversity is roughly proportionate to the population, and as such is not an issue. Ignoring that this is a gross simplification that doesn't apply to gender, it also ignores the point. Products designed by and for a disproportionately diverse group of individuals will, more often than not, produce a product superior for the majority of users. As such, design teams should be comprised of and design for as wide a variety of gender, race, sexuality, and class as possible.
Basically, what I'm saying is, I agree.
To be fair, this isn't a design specific problem. And I don't think it's enough that companies start designing for diversity. The problem starts with the way young women are discouraged in very real ways from pursuing careers in STEM fields. Without female industrial engineers or designers, of course products are going to be designed for a male audience.
I think this is an important point. However another key thing to note is that in non-STEM design fields ("the arts") statistically women in many countries are a majority in design education programs but remain a minority in the profession in the same countries. And although I think we should provide more support for women in design education this also likely means that those programs aren't supporting women enough to get hired and that design professionals aren't hiring women at an even rate as men (the latter is a factual assumption based on the makeup of the field), this along with the many social, economic, and political barriers in place for women (or anyone who doesn't identify as a cis male) make this an ongoing problem in the design field. So I strongly agree that we need more women in STEM field and that that will definitely help but there also design-field specific issues here responsible for these inequalities.
You're right of course - it's an issue that needs to be addressed at every level, from childhood conditioning on up.
I'm all for addressing equality, and pointing fingers for anger sake, but there's a lack of info to address these issues. Kind of need a call to action here?
I had some weird thoughts go through my head:
Can we get some female drug testing volunteers? Anyone?
Seat belts with supportive cups, the next level of safety in a luxury vehicle. Or is the issue we are having is smaller individuals are getting hurt more often in vehicles? Because, yes, that's physics. But weight is a different issue beyond gender?
Men hold 75.6% of blue space on a pie chart ambiguously called positions, while women are labelled with valuable informative titles. I can start firing men from blue positions and hiring women instead. What companies and consultancies (specifically) are being the issue? Why is that issue happening? What part of the world? The whole thing?