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– Written by Aimee Jordan – April 30, 2023

ustwo partners with Where are the Black Designers? to support black creatives in the design industry

Addressing Systematic Inequalities and Driving Tangible Change: How the Partnership Aims to Foster Meaningful Discussions, Provide Career Pathways, and Measure Progress to Improve Diversity in Design.

Why the partnership is crucial 

Against the backdrop of a design and creative industry grappling with meaningfully increasing diversity, a newly formed partnership between Where are the Black Designers? and ustwo seeks to combat and rectify systematic inequalities and drive tangible change across the global design industry. 

The statistics of diversity within the sector speak for themselves; according to the 2019 AIGA Design Census, only 3% of designers in the U.S. are black and in the U.K., statistics on Black designers are hard to come by at all.This underlines just how critical the partnership is, with both organisations seeking to support, amplify and make space for black creativity in all its forms, as well as hosting dialogues about change within the design industry. 

ustwo is full of talented people who have a lot of value to add. Leveraging this, the team will share their knowledge and help create pathways for Black designers, some of whom may not have access to the same information their white counterparts do.

What does the partnership involve? 

The official global launch of the partnership took place on Thursday 27th April 2023 at ustwo’s London and New York studios, which acted as the first of many opportunities throughout the partnership for Black designers to network and make media contacts with recruiters and leaders in the industry. The team ensured the takeaways from the event were tangible by offering salary transparency cheat sheets, which provided valuable information of salary bandings both in London and NYC as well as sharing top tips for negotiating salaries. 

The 12 month campaign will also include a monthly Instagram takeover, which will spotlight various Black creatives who can showcase their work on ustwo’s socials. The team will also host talks and events to discuss relevant topics to engage with a community to help foster meaningful discussions. 

A critical component of the partnership is the impact report, which will be delivered by ustwo in 12 months’ time. It will measure criteria such as the number of permanent Black employees hired or referred by ustwo supported by knowledge sharing activities, and ongoing feedback from the WATBD? community. 

Why is the partnership important to ustwo?

The initiative aligns closely with ustwo’s values and commitment to tangibly improve diversity in design, and is in keeping with its B-Corp status and employee ownership structure. It is also an acknowledgement that, like many in the industry, there is more that ustwo can do within its business specifically to improve the representation of Black creatives amongst its staff.

The most effective work happens when there are diverse teams working together, yet the design sector has not made the changes needed to broaden access to diversify talent – the industry needs to reflect the world it is designing for if it is to reach its full potential. The partnership with WATBD? hopes to spark conversations about where the design industry needs to go, and meaningfully support the growth of the Black creative community.