What is Tarra

“Women are always told, ‘You’re not going to make it, it’s too difficult, you can’t do that, don’t enter this competition, you’ll never win it,’—they need confidence in themselves and people around them to help them to get on.”

—Zaha Hadid

At its core, TARRA is a platform and community dedicated to increasing the visibility of women’s contributions to the creative industries.

Born from an awareness of the gender gap in the design industry, our goal is to dislodge the ongoing imbalance by harnessing the collective strength of the women we represent.

A recent study shows that only 15% of licensed architects around the world are female, despite a 50/50 split of male to female students in architecture school (a mind boggling statistic). We want to provide the 35% of female students who DO NOT become licensed architects a means to connect with and learn from the 15% who do.

The gender imbalance is not isolated to architecture either. It spans across all creative disciplines—graphic design, furniture design, industrial design, leather working, blacksmithing, woodworking, jewelry, rug making, print making, etc.

Given that approximately 50% of the global population is female, TARRA believes that our surroundings should be comparably shaped by the female perspective.

By creating an open platform where “Women Who Create” can network, collaborate, learn, and find inspiration—we can help cultivate a more diverse demographic throughout the creative community.

It’s important to note that this is not a platform about women creatives, but rather about—and for—creatives who are women.

By simply switching the placement of the words, we are addressing a very different conversation, shifting it from talking about a woman’s “place” in creative industries, to leveraging a conversation about innovation and ideas from those women who are breaking barriers, creating new paradigms and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

So what is TARRA?

We are still, and will always be, working to define what TARRA is. Why? Because the answer is shaped by the needs and voices of our community. We started with a beautiful platform featuring inspiring stories of women who are making waves in their fields. We’ve chosen to highlight both women who have been successful and those who are just starting out, namely presenting the works and perspectives of women driving innovation across creative industries. In October 2016, we hosted our inaugural event in Denver: a three-day gathering born from the want to connect with and hear from our community. Since then, we’ve filled our calendars with coffee dates, focus groups, studio tours, and shop visits.

We are asking women across creative industries this question: What can we do to help build thriving careers and businesses? We need to hear about the challenges faced; about the programming needed; and about the tools required to help push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Our goal is to change the conversation by amplifying women’s voices and their influence on the built environment. We plan to achieve this goal through a variety of means. One of the most important ways is by highlighting the innovative ideas and boundary pushing design that women are already creating.

Consider the famous Zaha Hadid, Florence Knoll, and Eileen Grey. Familiar names? Yes. But the list of “familiar names” is far shorter than the list of deserving female designers. We want to see more women winning awards for their ground-breaking ideas, and believe that we can champion this cause by highlighting their work.

Our Mission? To Level the Playing Field.

We want our girls in shop class. We want our girls in engineering school. We want our girls building with legos. We want the 50% of women in architecture school to become the 50% of licensed architects … not the current 15%.

We are deeply invested in our mission and are working to create strategic programming that will elevate women across creative industries by providing them with the tools needed to create thriving businesses and careers.

If you are a woman in the creative industries, please join us in reaching these goals. Sign up for our newsletter; follow us on Facebook and Instagram; introduce us to your mentors or offer to mentor others.  We believe that, through strategic efforts and collaboration opportunities, we can collectively create a level playing field for women in the creative industries.