• International Women's Day was this past Wednesday, and this report that shows how the number of women in design declines as the career arc continues: from 67% female at the Junior Designer level, dropping to 39% at the Leadership level. This echoes what is seen in certain STEM professions as well- it's often not a pipeline problem as much as it is a retention/promotion problem. Willoughby, the design firm that put together the presentation based on AIGA design survey stats has their own commentary on why the wage and seniority gap exists, but we don't think extrapolating from their internal anecdotes is wise. There's a lot of work to be done inside and out of the design industry when it comes to equality, representation and ethical practices.



  • Stories of microdosing various illicit drugs to boost focus or creativity have been coming out of Silicon Valley for awhile. What is new and warrants some exploration is how workplaces should deal with microdosing of now (in some places) legal marijuana. While there might be a knee-jerk response to say that obviously such substances should be banned in the workplace, the arguments against are not so clear cut. Generally offices tolerate or even encourage caffeine to boost productivity. U.S. workers and students consume a huge amount of Adderall (a prescription amphetamine) every year, and anti-anxiety drugs help many to meet the work day with reduced stress and higher productivity. Substances and labor have intersected (legally, illegally, formally and informally) and where problems arise, there tends to be an underlying workplace or management environment that is unhealthy: abusively overloaded workers can turn to stimulants to keep up with an inhuman pace, beers-after-work can transform quieter, chronic harassment into something louder and more acute. In other words personal and organizational responsibility both figure into whether chemistry in the workplace helps or harms. 
  • Architects attempt to build workplaces that improve employee health by design




Solutions from the Down the Supply Chain: 


Our Weird Future:  


More next week.