Jessica Bantom, known as The Design DEIB Consultant, is the industry’s leading figure in the field of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). Her overarching mission revolves around empowering design industry professionals to enhance their cultural competence, enabling them to create in a manner that respects and celebrates humanity. These shifts are also reflected in her client’s bottom lines. Click play on the video below to watch Jessica Bantom in conversation with DNN Editor in Chief Courtney Porter:
Jessica Bantom to give keynote at Fall High Point Market 2023
Why has the inclusion of identity in design become increasingly crucial? How can designers proactively adapt to stay ahead of the cultural and demographic transformations influencing their customer base and their talent? Jessica Bantom is answering these questions and more in her keynote address at High Point Market in collaboration with the Diversity Advocacy Alliance. Visit here to learn more about the keynote.
Following her keynote speech, Design for Identity: The Importance of Cultural Competence for the Design Profession at the High Point Theatre, Jessica Bantom, author of Design for Identity: How to Design Authentically for a Diverse World, will host a book signing in the Hooker Furnishings showroom (Showplace, 3rd floor).
About her book Design for Identity
Design encompasses not just expression, but also serves as a creative act and a vital service. However, despite the profession’s mission to design for everyone, diversity within the field remains startlingly limited. In her new book, Jessica Bantom delves into the profound implications of design in our daily lives, spanning environments, products, imagery, and the fashion industry. Frequently, design concepts rest upon assumptions and stereotypes that fail to resonate with the diverse lives and values of customers. Some company symbols and brands, such as Aunt Jemima, have long ignited controversy, but it’s only recently that a corporate social awakening has taken hold. As our society undergoes demographic shifts and becomes increasingly diverse, varied perspectives are too often disregarded unless compelled by public outcry.
Bantom explores the concept of human-centered design, which delves into the complexities of identity: how people live, their values, and the factors that shape their perspectives and experiences. The foundation of human-centered design lies in direct engagement with customers, identifying their challenges, and collaborating to test ideas and solutions. It is imperative for businesses to embrace this paradigm shift and shed outdated mindsets if they aspire to thrive. Bantom elucidates the six habits of culturally competent designers that can drive this transformation, yielding design solutions that resonate with individuals from diverse backgrounds. She presents a Design for Identity Blueprint that pays homage to humanity, celebrates diversity, fosters equity and inclusion, and ensures that the design profession mirrors the evolving realities of our world. This enlightening book is slated for release in the spring of 2023.
More about Jessica Bantom
Jessica Bantom is a combines the practices of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), with interior design consultation. She passionately believes that immediate action can be taken by all to generate positive outcomes for those who have historically faced exclusion. In addition to her role as a leadership coach and consultant, she is dedicated to empowering aspiring allies to take actions that result in meaningful change for historically marginalized communities.
Throughout her distinctive career, Jessica’s consistent theme has been a deep concern for people’s well-being. She approaches her work, whether it involves designing systems, strategies, experiences, or spaces, with a fundamental question: “How will this project or initiative impact everyone involved?” Hailing from Philadelphia and based in Washington, DC, with a global outlook, Jessica’s appreciation for cultural diversity stems from her early education in desegregated schools and diverse public classrooms. Her unique talent lies in making challenging topics approachable and authentic, a skill appreciated by her clients and audiences. Jessica’s aim is to normalize conversations about identity and inspire meaningful actions, both large and small, to benefit historically excluded individuals.
With a background spanning marketing, IT and management consulting, and startup leadership, Jessica is a versatile and business-oriented creative. Boasting more than two decades of consulting experience, she has worked with prestigious institutions such as renowned universities, global professional associations, and government agencies. Jessica’s educational journey includes graduating from the University of Virginia and Marymount University and earning a Master’s in interior design, alongside a collection of certifications in DEI, change management, design thinking, coaching, and facilitation.