Stephanie Kane, kbbreview100 member and a designer at Studio One Kitchens in East Kilbride, says women shouldn’t act like they don’t belong in the industry and believes that the more diverse it is, the better it will understand its customers
Q: What’s been your experience as a woman in the KBB industry?
A: I’ve had great experiences being a woman in the industry. Of course, there have been some moments when potential clients would rather deal with a male designer, but I don’t think it’s an industry issue. I think that’s a client issue and happens everywhere, not just within KBB businesses.
Q: What advice would you give to other women looking to emulate your success as a KBB designer?
A: Be confident. I believe that if you act like you don’t belong in the industry, that is exactly how people will perceive you. But you have the right to be there, just like anyone else, believe in yourself and your colleagues and customers will too.
Q: Do you feel women are under-represented in the KBB industry?
A: Although I do believe that the KBB industry is predominantly male-oriented, I don’t feel like women are under-represented. There are so many successful women in the industry that we can look up to – business owners, sales representatives and designers. We can see them throughout this magazine.
Q: In your experience how do consumers – male and female – react to female designers?
A: I’ve found most consumers don’t care whether you are male or female. They care about whether you have the ability to do your job and provide them with the service they expect. There will always be someone who is more comfortable dealing with a male, because they believe that they have more knowledge and it is more their expertise. However, I do believe that to be a very small number of consumers. And they will exist in all industries.
Q: Who would you say makes most of the decisions when it comes to the design and purchase of a kitchen/bathroom?
A: In my experience, I would say most of our decision-makers are split down the middle between men and women. I think, for kitchens, whoever is the main cook makes the big decisions.
Q: As one of the few women that holds a prominent role in the industry, do you feel you have a part to play in encouraging other women to pursue a KBB career?
A: All women in the industry have a responsibility in encouraging other women to pursue a career in KBB. We should always be bigging each other up and supporting each other, no matter what industry we are in. But if we want to make the industry more diverse, we need to show other women the benefits of being part of such a great work environment.
Q: What do you think is the future of the KBB industry when it comes to diversity?
A: I think the industry will continue to become more diverse. It needs to. If we want to be able to design for all walks of life, we need to understand all walks of life. How can we design a space for someone we don’t understand? The more diverse the industry, the greater the relationships we can start to build with our potential clients.
Listen to the International Women’s Day Special on The kbbreview Podcast. on The kbbreview Podcast. Listen now using the player below or search ‘kbbreview’ in a podcast app.