How diverse and inclusive is the graphic communication industry? This question is important because research shows that companies with diverse workforces are more innovative, strategic and profitable. As the industry continues its structural and technical transformation and the search for key personnel becomes more competitive, it is imperative that graphic communication businesses embrace and celebrate diversity and inclusion.

The term diversity is used to describe individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, country of origin, religion, etc.) that can be engaged in the service of learning and working together. The term inclusion is used to describe the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity–in people, curriculum, and communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect.

In 2011 a research study entitled Women in Graphic Communication: A Comparison of Two Studies was conducted to assess the demographic and employment status of women in the graphic communication industry. This was a follow-up to a study previously conducted in 2000, to determine if any significant trend changes over this eleven year span could be identified. The 2011 study research showed: 1) significantly more women in management positions, 2) an upward trend in women business owners and, 3) an increase in the length of time women have been employed in the industry. While the significant rise in women’s status that the data showed was exciting women are still faced with issues such as pay inequality and resentment from peers.

A study is underway to assess the current status of diversity, inclusion and women in the graphic communication industry. You can assist with this research initiative by completing the following brief survey.