As the first deadline for applications approaches (Friday 11th January), Creative Equals, the organisation championing diversity in the creative industries, has already seen 120 women register for its returnship programmes in London and Manchester, demonstrating the wealth of creative talent currently looking to get back to work in the creative industries.
Applications have come from TV producers, executive producers, designers, art directors, concept creatives and creative directors. It isn’t just returning mums, a number of applicants have been off caring for relatives or due to illness and even PTSD.
Creative Equals founder Ali Hanan said she was ‘overwhelmed by the positive response’ but wants to urge as many as possible to take part to ensure the widest pool of talent is encouraged back into the industry. While the deadline for London is this Friday, applications for the Manchester programme are being taken until Friday 25th January.
The 8-day training programme for women will run from March 4-14, 9.30-2.30pm in London, and a 3-day programme will take place in Manchester from March 19-21, 9.30-2.30pm. The first week of the bootcamp will focus on upskilling, getting the cohort up to speed on all the latest creative and tech developments. The second will see the group working on a client brief. Following the programme, returners will then go on a 4-6-week placement with one of Creative Equals’ founding partners and will be supported by a dedicated coach throughout.
Thirty-nine brand and agency partners are now supporting the programme, with key partners including D&AD, The Dots and Facebook. It is backed by a £65,000 grant from the Government Equalities Office as part of a new government start up fund aimed at tackling gender inequality.
Hanan founded Creative Equals in response to the disparity of just 12% of creative directors being women, despite 85% of purchasing decisions being made by them. Emily DeGroot is the director of the London programme while Caroline Pankhurst will lead in Manchester.
According to Hanan: “I am delighted with the number of women who have signed up. Yes, their CV have gaps, but for us ‘gaps’ are gifts, where the real life happens. Babies are born. Cancer blindsides us. Elderly parents have dementia. Experiences like this make human understanding and creativity deeper, richer and more powerful.” She continued: “Our sector is so fast moving and so our programme will focus on key developments, from blockchain to AI with the chance for returners to then showcase their work.”
Progressive companies committed to supporting the scheme so far include: AMVBBDO, BBH London, M&C Saatchi, Karmarama, AnalogFolk, Grey London, Havas, DDB Remedy, St Lukes, Jellyfish, Adam&EveDDB, MRM/McCann, Wunderman, Huge, Lego, RAPP, Girl Effect, Brilliant Basics, RPM, We are Social, The Marketing Store, MullenLowe, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Uncommon London, Wavemaker, Iris Worldwide, Toaster, Wieden+Kennedy, Isobel, Geometry, ForPeople, Unit 9, The Dots, Momentum, Creature and VMLY &R, who will be involved in promoting this talent. Agencies supporting in Manchester include: McCann, AmazeRealise, Momentum Manchester, BBC Salford, TBWA\Manchester.
Source: Creative Equals