I believe we need diversity in both gender and background to create stronger more interesting creative departments. Unfortunately women still only make up 3% of creative departments and that needs to change. To help, I'm on the committee of SHE SAYS - a global award winning non-profit organisation that runs free events, workshops and mentorship for women in the creative industry. My role is to organise these programmes on a monthly basis with the committee. Below are some of the events I have lead and created, along with other initiatives I do under SHE SAYS.
September 2016 - It's Back! SHE SAYS presents: Sketch the 'Ones To Watch'
After the success of the event in 2015. I organised a 2016 version of 'Sketch the Ones To Watch'.
September is the time of year when the best new graduates prepare to enter our industry. To celebrate, we’re put five new female creatives (all nominated by people in the industry) into the limelight with a twist...
Under the tutorage of a LARA portraiture artist Lizet Dingemans they become the (clothed) models for a life drawing class. We inviting She Says members to come along have fun, try their hand at life drawing, listen to why these young women rock and network with them. The night was hosted by Allison Upton and her team at Major Players.
Check out the Ones To Watch for 2016:
Rose Scanlon-Jones (Designer) http://www.rosescanlonjones.com/
Emmy Yoneda (Fine Artist) http://www.emmyyoneda.com/
Cai Zhang (Experiential artist & illustrator) http://www.cai.gallery/
Pip King (Photographer) www.pipjk.com
Ellen Luff (Creative / Art Director) http://cargocollective.com/EllenLuff
May 2016 - SHE SAYS presents: Creating Diversity
This was the first in a series of Diversity specific events, where we showcased inspirational people who are at the forefront of getting our industry to open its doors to everyone.
The current middle class, male and pale departments are making the work dull and the agencies even more boring. SHE SAYS aim is to take the conversation further with how our departments misrepresent society in total, not just a lack of women.
The speakers were:
Laura Jordan Bambach (SHE SAYS founder), The Great British Diversity Experiment
James Hillhouse, Commercial Break
Sue Higgs, & Turly Humphreys, CircleCollective.org
Tracy Whamond, John Dore & Mark Oben-Pepra, OMD Fast Forward Programme
Chris De Abreu, Creative Director @ Iris London
Part 2 of 'Creating Diversity' will be in October 2016 at OMD, London. If you would like to know more about any of the speakers or be part of the next event, please do get in touch.
September 2015 - SHE SAYS presents: Sketch the 'Ones To Watch'.
This event was based around the time of year when the best new graduates prepare to enter our industries. To celebrate, we put six female D&AD New Blood Winners into the limelight. In partnership with our host GREY London and LARA, this crop of fresh talent were the models for a life drawing class. Under the tutorage of portraiture Luca Indraccolo we invited SHE SAYS members to come along to have fun, try their hand at life drawing, network and discover this year’s ‘ones to watch’.
Due to a great response from the evening, it will now be a yearly event to celebrate new female talent.
Event photographs by Ruth Jones.
Check out a summary of the work by the six women - Yukai Du, Tessa Noble, Maria Florez, Bianca Richards, Florence Fairweather and Jenny Green.
If you or your agency is interested in hosting, talking at or creating an event with SHE SAYS please do get in touch.
In 2015 I also helped relaunch our side project - Young & Awesome with a a fresh new look and feel, redesign and build of the site. On a monthly basis I also continue to met and shoot the winners.
Young & Awesome is a platform created to celebrate young creative teams that have at least one female. We invite junior teams to simply submit their portfolio to be reviewed by a top Creative Director. Five of the portfolios are reviewed and one winner is picked to go on the site but most importantly feedback is given to every team who enter.
If you're a Creative Director and interested in judging for Y&A please do get in touch.