Shining a Light on Diversity and Inclusion

In celebration of International Women in Engineering Day recently, our very own, Adrianna Barr, Lighting Designer, was a panel speaker on a webinar hosted by Universal Light, a publication for the lighting and design community, where she discussed her passion for creating an inclusive and diverse industry.

The webinar was held in conjunction with the release of Universal Light’s latest issue, which features an article by Adrianna titled, Supporting Diversity and Inclusion in the World of Lighting. In the article she shares her own experience of a male dominated industry as a young female designer.

 

“With women representing only 12 per cent of the engineering industry, how can we ensure their perspectives are just as valuable, especially when we need to reflect the diversity of clients?”, asks Adrianna.

 

Given the crucial role that lighting plays in our society, she explains how important a diverse and multi-dimensional team is, for project delivery.

 

She says, “Without having these diverse perspectives in the design process, we’re unable to deliver a solution that will meet the requirements of all end-users. It’s not just about better lighting solutions for our clients, but creating better outcomes for the community.”

 

During the webinar, Adrianna emphasised the importance of inclusion in a diverse workforce and acknowledged the danger of unconscious bias, which can pigeon hole individuals into certain industry role and, leave people feeling like they aren’t valued in their workplace, or as part of the company culture.

 

Adrianna argues that if we can establish clear pathways to address the imbalance now, the next generation has a real chance of thriving in equality. She believes one of those opportunities is through mentoring.

 

“With the support of senior leaders in the industry, having mentors that champion groups that we know are often left behind, or are likely to be more self-critical, can initiate long-lasting changes in the industry.”

 

We know that diversity and inclusion brings fresh perspectives to a project, as well as fresh ideas to the industry.

 

“As a young designer, this is an exciting time to be part of the creative lighting workforce; we are on the brink of innovations and changes in the way we use light. We need to think about how we use light in general. That requires to focus on other things than the light source itself, such as the opportunity to harness technologies, especially in a post-COVID world.”

 

While manufacturers and the broader industry had been slow on the uptake of new technologies, however with a rise in technology adoption as a by-product of COVID, this may also create a ripple of new technologies and programs to transform our design solutions.

 

Click here to read the article from the Universal Light publication.

 

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