Nominated by Fortune magazine as a "Guru you should know," Irish designer Valerie Casey '94 moved with her family to America as a child. “We still have a home in Dublin where my parents live part of the time and my sister and her family live in Cork.”
Having studied English and psychology at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, Casey gained an MA in cultural theory and design from Yale University, where she was awarded for outstanding academic achievement.
A frequent panelist at World Economic Forum events and conferences, including Davos, she has been one of its Young Global Leaders since 2011.
In 2007, she founded the Designers Accord, a global coalition of designers, business leaders, and educators working to create positive environmental and social impacts. To date, more than half a million people from 100 countries have participated in the Designers Accord.
Heralded as one of the world’s most influential designers by Business Week, Casey, a former chief product officer at Samsung’s Global Innovation Centre in San Fransisco, now advises a range of companies from Fortune 500s to start-ups and NGOs.
When asked whether or not a woman has to be more talented, work harder, and be more ambitious than a man to succeed at the same job, Casey responded with a decisive yes. "Gender discrimination is still alive and kicking in 2016, even in the so-called meritocracy of Silicon Valley," she says. "Incredibly, the bias is so deep in our culture that women have been found to routinely devalue the skills of their own gender at a similar rate as men."
“As awareness has grown about this unconscious bias, new studies from McKinsey, EY, and Catalyst have uncovered an empirical link between gender diversity and increased profitability," she adds. “This is no longer a discussion of fairness or preference, it just makes better business sense to include women because diversity overwhelmingly increases creativity and innovation.”