Women in Lighting

Male Supporters

Our male supporters who are committed to gender equality and who are continuously seeking to help us achieve  it. To sign up as a Male Ally for the Women in Lighting project click here to jump to the bottom of the page.


Álvaro Valdecantos

Álvaro Valdecantos Architectural & Lighting Photography / Spain
The world is changing for the better and in a way that is so profound that our own consciousness is changing with it. Is not just about to change the narratives, but feeling and integrating them that allows us to recognize how incomplete and dark is the world without women being present, acknowledged and respected. My life is defined by a strong female energy that is present in every aspect of it, I can’t do anything but unconditionally support WIL.

Artem Voronov

Lighting Design School – Studio Light Lab / Russia
In the right lighting design project, the balance of light and shadow is very important.
Often, in the design process our professional intuition and many years of experience help us in determining the right ratio and values.

In modern society, the balance of women and men in the professional field is very important.
And my intuition tells me that at the moment, men must support women in lighting design.

That is why, when I saw the Women In Lighting project, I decided to take part in it, so the world around us would be more balanced and harmonious.

David Gilbey

I am originally from the theatre, film and TV industry which has always been years ahead in its attitude to inclusion towards talented women, though in all likelihood there are still glass ceilings to break through there. All my career I have been fortunate to work in industries that by and large embrace and support incredibly talented, strong and innovative women and I have joyously worked alongside them. I wholeheartedly support equality in all its forms and stand shoulder to should with my sisters and women in lighting, you have my full support in anything that I can do to champion your cause; and besides, us girls have got to stick together.

David Markov

King David / Russia
First of all, woman’s energy is the energy of creation, the creation of life. It is always about the Union of two energies: male and female, when life is born. And my vision of the world is that women should make an equal contribution in all areas, and in areas that are related to organization and atmosphere at home, even more.

Emilio Hernandez

Ström / Sweden
The message of equal representation of women in lighting (and surrounding lighting) has reached me by a number of different media and people. It's become clear to me that the movement has reached a tipping point whereby it just appears to me to be an obvious issue to actively try and help resolve and promote by sharing the great content and arguments for it that already exist.

Giacomo Rossi

LDT Lighting Design Team / Italy
I grew up in a predominantly female family. This taught me the utmost respect for others, regardless of their gender or ethnicity. By chance, I chose to work in the lighting industry, where female professionals are numerous and essential. In my opinion, Light = Woman... These are some of the reasons, why I consider the Women in Lighting project fundamental. I also believe it must be supported in every way, with the utmost commitment. I pride myself on being a male supporter.

James Poore

My first position in lighting design was in a practice entirely made up by strong, talented women, in fact I was the only male, so initially my slightly polarised view of the industry was not realistic.

Unfortunately it wasn’t long before I experienced sexism and gender bias first hand, in those early days in lighting I recall a couple of incidences where I was on site with more senior female employees and witnessed site managers talking in a condescending manner or even ignoring them, I have also been in meetings or on site where there are no females present and it seems this can be carte blanch to role out the sexist comments.

If you're in a meeting or group at work where only men are present, it doesn't make sexist comments okay just because no women are hearing those comments. Sexist attitudes in the workplace affect everyone!

In those early days I didn’t know what to do or say, however now I am in a position where hopefully I can both do, and say something and when I was asked to be a male supporter of the WIL programme I was more than happy to be involved.

Achieving this paradigm shift in attitudes and behaviours to even out the playing field can only help everyone in the industry.

James Simpson

Copper Candle / UK
In my career, the most influential and inspiring colleagues I have worked with have been women. To make it as a lighting professional in theatre, you need good communication, imagination and, sadly, a thick skin. The job is tough, but even more so when you are a woman in what has traditionally been a “man’s world” and your opinion may be disregarded or your abilities put in doubt. Being an ally, for me, means that I call out when something is wrong, support my colleagues when they need help and help others think forwards to a future where we have parity and respect for female lighting professionals whose work has such an influence on our industry.
Mentor Mentor

Jesper Ravn

Gottlie Paludan Architects / Denmark / Email
As the husband of an executive woman who has gone all the way to the top, not only have I seen that a woman can do anything but also know that women hold concerns unimaginable to men. The two genders think, feel and respond differently. In most cases, the insecurities women hold concerning themselves and their interactions in a masculine context, evaporate once they get an idea of how males think. On top of that, women are more likely not to say what they want, ending up with something else. Therefore, I invite women in lighting who would like a man’s reflection on their situation to just ask.

Jordi Ballesta

Anoche Iluminación Arquitectónica / Spain
Everyone asks me because in our team we are 90% women.
Do not respond, but the reality is that I have the best team in the world!!

Lorenzo de Bragança Tremiterra

formalighting / UAE
Create a world of only men and darkness, and matter is all you’ll ever have. But if you add on light and women, then life, and all that comes with it, becomes possible. As such, and especially within an industry that has the ambitious assignment of illuminating the world on a daily basis, it would be presumptuous not to acknowledge the relevance of women’s input in the act of creation. As a man that was raised by a single mother, and having had a little sister under my watch, this is something that is very personal and dear to me, and I’m happy and proud to see movements like WIL striving.

Manel Escacena-Chica

M Storydesigners / Spain
I owe my passion for light thanks to Esther Torelló, the WIL ambassador for Spain. Besides having worked with many well-known male lighting designers, I must say that my overall perception of lighting design and the knowledge of all possibilities which light give us within the light art sphere, would not be as complete as they’re now if I hadn’t worked hand to hand with female lighting designers. Women have a special eye to understand the world which is as necessary as males. It’s not about a competition, but to enhance visions together.

Marcus Steffen

MS Lighting Design / United Kingdom
Why support Women In Lighting? I have seen, on countless occasions, female colleagues and employees ignored in design meetings and on sites, with others just speaking to me. I have a team who just happens to be comprised entirely of women, so how can I not support them getting the recognition they deserve? Raising the profile of over half the lighting design industry is something that will benefit everyone, and set an example for future generations. I feel that is worth supporting.

Matt Waring

arc magazine / UK
I always think of that line from the Peep Show, “I’m a very strong feminist, so I believe women should have whatever mad thing it is they want.” Although it’s intended as a joke, it’s true. It makes no logical sense to define or discriminate anyone based on their gender, or race, or sexuality, or religion. So we should absolutely be doing all we can to make sure that women are given the same opportunities and representation as men. And if initiatives like WIL help to do this and to boost the profile of the wonderful women in this industry, then I’m absolutely all for it. Why wouldn’t you be?

Matthew Cobham

ERCO / France
As light creates life and reaches out to everyone in an equal way it is the perfect way to promote equality. All my own inspiration comes from people who have managed to push aside, often against the odds, prejudices and not only succeed, but really triumph above the rest.

Neil Knowles

Elektra Lighting / UK
Supporting women is not an optional add-on. Its supporting people in their fundamental human rights, its like being opposed to slavery. I never “became” a feminist, I’ve grown up thinking this was normal and it shocks me to find others don’t or to find injustice or inequality. I’m the sort of person who doesn’t stand by and idly witness a racial attack on a train, I stand up and say “No”. (From experience, only do this if you are prepared for everything that could happen). So here I am, standing up and saying no.

Patrick Woodroffe

Woodroffe Bassett Design / UK
I am awed by the women who are role models in the world of performance lighting, but sadly I recognise that women are still woefully underrepresented in this industry.

I believe that a more balanced representation in our business will open the door to electric collaborations, a more open-minded approach to our work and ultimately, a wider and more universal creativity. As individuals we should all look for a more equitable future, and in my own practise we have always sought gender parity amongst our team. This deliberate choice has noticeably benefitted our group: ego tends to be left at the door, there is greater sensitivity in the room and putting talent centre stage has become fundamental to our work.

I’m proud to be a supporter of Women in Lighting. Our industry delights in imagination, but imagination is not enough to create a richer and fairer experience for women in performance lighting: it is within our grasp if we actively – and collectively – reach for it now.

Paulo Van Cuijck

Spot On lichtontwerp / The Netherlands
I strongly support gender equality, in the field of lighting design and in life as a whole as I believe it makes the world more creative and diverse. A woman, Paulina Villalobos, was my guiding light into lighting design, she triggered me with her enthusiastic and creative approach and made me go study at KTH in Stockholm. Many other women inspired me, each with their unique approach to lighting and design. Women in Lighting have done a tremendous job creating a shining platform for women to connect and expand.

Rick Fisher

Many of the early pioneer lighting designers on Broadway were women, but sadly that has not been reflected around the world until recently. I am pleased to see so many excellent women lighting practitioners doing wonderful work in all areas of performance lighting. I know the benefit of the support this sort of networking can provide.

Roberto Corradini

Lighting Design Workshop / Italy
I have always been fascinated by intelligence and beauty. I was lucky enough to meet female colleagues who combined these above with a profound sensitivity for the mysteries of light.
As the poet Francesco Petrarca wrote:

“Da lei ti vèn l'amoroso pensero,
che mentre 'l segui al sommo ben t'invia,
pocho prezando quel ch'ogni huom desia;

da lei vien l'animosa leggiadria
ch'al ciel ti scorge per destro sentero,
sí ch'i' vo già de la speranza altero.”

For this reason, I strongly support the WIL project, so that even more female students can become lighting designers and more women could elevate their profile in the lighting designers' community. They deserve to be recognized for their professional merits.

Roger Sexton

Xicato / UK
I helped to organize an industry event last year and Florence Lam pointed out an “ALL male line up”. My first reaction was “Well maybe, but they’re all very good”. I didn’t even think of gender balance. A split second later the penny dropped: “That’s the whole point, that you didn’t think Roger, you idiot.” If there’s unconscious bias in any segment of a society - racial, age, sex, whatever - then, quite apart from the morals involved, that society will be at a commercial disadvantage. It needs fixing and I’ll try to help whenever I can.

Sam Koerbel

Lytei / USA
Recognizing Women as equals puts our best foot forward, however, we can only walk with them as they rise to their full potential when we outwardly support them. I encourage all Men (and women) to acknowledge the unconscious bias society has created. One of the best ways we can all do this is to have the hard, real and honest conversations with your peers when something is wrong. By reflecting on this and listening we can create change for the better. It's proven that women are not only equal to men in a professional environment but can outperform them. Furthermore ,they create the necessary diversity to have a well rounded team. Join me and empower Women in Lighting by standing up for what's right and give them an opportunity to do it all.

Thiago Gaya

L+D Magazine & LEDforum / Brazil
I grew up in a matriarchal family. Everything centered around my grandmother, the mother of four women. My illiterate, though intelligent, grandma always fought hard for her daughters’ education. Despite her limited means and the challenges of keeping them in school, she always said that education was the only way her daughters would be truly free to tread their own paths in life. With her humble intelligence, my grandmother knew – even in the 1950s – that education offered a chance at equal opportunities for women. I am the husband of a pharmaceutical executive and the father of a beautiful five-year-old daughter. Chores in our house are not assigned by gender; there’s no “father knows best.” Traditional roles have been switched, they’ve been shuffled up, they play off each other – and, in so doing, our world and our possibilities are so much broader. I hope we are no longer discussing gender by the time my daughter is my age; gender equality is not a question of ideology or personal conviction. It’s a matter of dignity, civility and human rights.
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