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Event recap – Be inspired to make the change:  Practical advice from those within the creative industries 


October 13, 2021 | SMC Admin

Following our recent publication of our Employer’s Toolkit for building socio-economic inclusion in the creative industry – Farrah Storr, SMC Commissioner and Editor-in-Chief at ELLE UK – spoke with industry insiders to hear their experiences of the sector;  what responsibility individuals and organisations have to think differently about socio-economic inclusion, and how they think the guidance within the toolkit can inform and inspire others to make lasting change.  

Catch-up on the recording below.

Farrah was joined by Jamie Gill, CEO ROKSANDA and Executive Board, British Fashion Council; Della Hill, Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Chwarae Teg and Emily Jones, Senior Producer at Sage Gateshead.


Getting in

Each was kind enough to share their perspectives on the difficulties of breaking into the creative industries for people from low Socio-economic backgrounds:

For Della Hill, it was as if she was  ‘standing on the edge of a forest’ and she couldn’t ‘work out how to make her way through it.’ 

Della talked openly about navigating a scarcity of opportunities that seemed to be on offer – something with which Jamie Gill agreed. He added “it felt like I needed more strings to my bow than someone who has come in through a more conventional route.”

Emily shared how Sage Gateshead ‘removed the word talent from their processes.  We prefer to talk about potential’.  


Priorities for creative sector employers

In an expansive discussion, the panel covered a range of challenges the sector faces in its efforts to improve socio-economic diversity and inclusion:

  • How creative sector employers can refine their approach to recruitment and where to focus their efforts on reaching diverse talent
  • What measures employers can take to ensure that everyone thrives and progresses in their chosen career within the industry
  • The responsibility of leaders within the sector to drive socio-economic inclusion
  • How data can help you understand your workforce and support your efforts to make change
  • That positive action can support employers to level the playing field

Alongside the engaging and energetic debate, Heather Carey from the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) provided insight from their third paper in their ‘Class and the Creative Industries programme’ highlighting Social mobility in the creative economy: rebuilding and levelling up’, making the case for sharpening the focus on socio-economic diversity, setting out the priorities for building a more socially inclusive creative economy and shaping an agenda for change.

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Employers play a key role in #socialmobility outcomes for many.

They determine where they set up their business, the types of job roles they create, and how and who they recruit; the income set by employers impacts living standards, pension contributions, as well as spending power in their local economy; they also play an important role in the health and wellbeing of employees.

However, with each part of the UK having an individual identity, history and economy, impacting its local population and their opportunities, the challenges to social mobility, and the solutions, may differ from region to region.

That’s where we think the use of our new #Data Explorer tool can help – join us at this event on 7 June at 12pm for employers to find out how you can utilise our new tool to understand your workforce distribution; provide insight for outreach activity and hiring activity; and to serve and support regional communities.

👇🏻 Register below.

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