The “Pipeline Problem” Is a Myth

What to do when all your design applicants are homogeneous

This is a dangerous claim and lazy excuse. Just because diverse talent isn’t applying to your job posts, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

There’s a good chance the job post itself is filtering out exceptional non-traditional talent. Industry jargon, outmoded criteria and biased/coded language can all be deterrents to candidates on the margins. In fact, startups are racing to harness machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve gender tone and eliminate bias to help employers from unwittingly sabotaging their chance to reach untapped talent.

The pipeline of diverse talent moving from design schools and coding boot camps (and self-guided tutorials!) into the industry must continue to be expanded — but the issue is more likely employers looking down the wrong pipes.

To debunk the pipeline problem myth, here are 5 design directories every agency, studio, and in-house creative team should be familiar with:

Blacks Who Design

Latinxs Who Design

Latinxs Who Design by Sarah Sharara, Polo Garcia, Pablo Stanley


Rememory by Mia Coleman

Latinx Design Directory

Latinx Design Directory by Zuli Segura

Brazilians Who Design

Brazilians Who Design by Zeh Fernandes and Fabricio Teixeira

Filipinos Who Design

Filipinos Who Design by Clive Castillo

Asian & Pacific Islanders Who Design

Asian & Pacific Islanders Who Design by Koi Hernandez

People of Craft

People of Craft by Amélie Lamont & Timothy Goodman

Indians Who Design

Queer Design Club

Queer Design Club by John Hanawalt & Rebecca Brooker

Women Who Design

Women Who Design by Jules Forrest

Women Who Draw

Women Who Draw by Wendy MacNaughton and Julia Rothman

design leader, public speaker, educator, illustrator, yearly marathoner, occasional beat selector, Head of Design @TableXI, founder & host of @DadwellCo