Your Interview Anastasia Angeli


Anastasia Angeli

How long have you been involved in the lighting industry in total?

I have been working as a lighting application specialist (in short: lighting designer) at Signify for 1.5 years and prior to that I have been studying architectural lighting design Masters at KTH. With one year of short-term, ad-hoc projects in between. So consider me fresh and naïve 😊

Have you always been involved in the manufacturing side or have you come from another part of the industry?

Before starting on my full-time lighting design journey I have been doing some lighting-related projects, like creating a lighting concept for a restaurant in Moscow or setting up a lighting brand showroom in Stockholm. Very liberating and very short-term - not for me.

Do you feel that there is a wider diversity in sales, manufacturing and marketing over the last 20 years?

Hard question for me to reflect on, considering my short experience in the industry. What I want to highlight here though is that there is for sure a lot of diversity in terms of people in sales, manufacturing and marketing currently. It might be due to the understanding that diverse groups work better in the long run, or due to a variety of people getting education in these subjects.

What reasons do you think there are so few women working for manufacturing companies? What obstacles do women come up against?

My immediate reaction is to say that the reason for it is the perceived lack of creativity in manufacturing companies. There is a certain stigma around it: working for an architectural firm is "creative, open-minded and cool" while working for a lighting manufacturer is often seen as "restrictive, forced and inflexible".  And hey, I am not saying that it is the other way round! It is just different for everyone. I find freedom in a stable, long-term position where I know I can grow within a company (manufacturing companies tend to be bigger with more people working in different departments focusing on different things), not taking my work home (which I would if I was having a purely design role) as well as knowing that my profile might be adding more diversity in the team.

How do you think more women can be encouraged into this side of the lighting industry? What can manufactures do to encourage a diversity of applicants for roles in sales and product development for example?

I like this question, there are many sides to that. Some of them are widely known: using non gender biased phrasing in job descriptions is one of them. Listing overly high demands in the description might scare someone skilled from even applying for the role (as some women might shy away from trying if they do not see themselves as a perfect fit). Having role models at school / university signaling to young women that "their place" is not only in the nursery and flower shop but showcasing that yes, someone of their gender can work in sales and product development - so having more women in such roles might naturally lead to more girls envisioning themselves in these positions.

What are the positives of working for a manufacturer? What are the negatives?

Will try to be concise here. Again, sharing my opinion on it:


  •  Stable work environment (manufacturing companies seem to go through global economic crisis more successfully due to its nature, as compared with the architecture firms, for example)
  • Big knowledge support base within the company (HR resources, learning opportunities etc)
  • A variety of colleagues, each focusing on their thing and bringing their diverse personalities into the office
  • Feeling of being more distant from my work tasks, allowing me not to think about my projects in the evenings and weekends (very subjective)


  • Lacking a sense of "I am creating something new, making an impact in the lighting design world" (questionable!)
  • Not feeling like I have a complete freedom of choice when doing lighting design
  • Not feeling fully appreciated outside of the company (working independently would be the opposite of that - which is perceived as "wow, you are so cool!")
  • Not following the whole process of the project from beginning to the end and often being involved only at one stage of the design (arguable and depends on a project and a team)
Is there anything else you would like to add?

I want to add that nothing is black & white. I am only saying my perception of it - you, dear reader, might totally disagree, and I accept that (because I am a women, you know, I am so negotiable - just kidding..).

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