Bristol duo tackles diversity in Bristol's creative sector
A social enterprise is being launched this week with a mission to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in the creative sector in Bristol.
Established by Joanna Randall, who runs Bristol PR agency Purplefish and Liz Gadd, a recruiter in the creative sector in the South West, the organisation, called Represent, will work to raise awareness of careers in the creative sector which including advertising, public relations, design, digital, gaming and social media.
Represent is being supported by established organisations in the city: Bristol Media, Ujima Radio, Bristol 24/7, Bristol Business News and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
With four key areas of focus Represent has clear targets for its first 12 months and is committed to demonstrating tangible change to widen representation of diverse groups:
Education – to promote creative careers to schools and organisations representing sectors of society currently underrepresented in creative businesses
Training – offer equality and diversity training to agencies, creative businesses and in house teams based in Bristol
Recruitment – to assist creative businesses with their recruitment policies and to help create more diverse workforces in the city
Awareness – to promote issues surrounding equality, diversity and inclusion and to encourage greater awareness of and use of diversity in marketing campaigns
Commenting on the launch of Represent, Joanna Randall said: “Diversity is an often discussed issue in the creative world, however, the challenge is to actually make some tangible changes. We’re committed to showing that changes can be made and will be working hard to put in place initiatives which benefit the city’s creative industries while creating opportunities for people who, through a lack of awareness, may not have previously considered careers in the creative sector.
“Represent will also seek to influence the output of creative businesses beyond changing the diverse make-up of the creative workforce. It’s important that diversity is also tackled through campaigns and in the work that Bristol businesses produce, whether that’s in advertising campaigns, generating imagery that is representative of UK culture or in targeting diverse media. There’s much work to be done but we truly believe that Represent as a stand-alone entity can really make a difference.”
The creative sector in Bristol employs 15,900 people and is vital to the prosperity of the city. Despite being a very culturally diverse city, Bristol’s creative businesses are not reflective of their locations. With British culture’s diversity changing at a rapid pace the creative sector needs to maintain relevance by being proactive in raising awareness and promoting opportunities for people from a range of backgrounds, ethnicities, sexuality, gender, age and religion.
Represent will be enlisting support and participation from creative businesses across the city as well as targeting schools, colleges, charities and community organisations to raise awareness of careers in the creative sectors.