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Candidate Stories: Clarissa Pabi, Penguin Random House

“Creative Access, for me, is about creating access and opportunity; and I believe that the opportunities I’ve had must help create more opportunities for other people.”…

After graduating and what seemed like an interminable search for a job, Clarissa secure a year-long internship at Random House through Creative Access. At the end of her internship, Random House created a new role for Clarissa at Ebury Publishing.

“I believe I now have a responsibility to help create more opportunities for other people. After working at Ebury for almost four years, I am now the company’s senior marketing executive and have created award-winning campaigns.”

She found that the supportive infrastructure Creative Access provided was invaluable: “One of the most formative experiences for me was attending masterclasses across the creative industry, organised by Creative Access. The masterclasses were given by highly accomplished and senior people, many of whom are from BAME backgrounds, and they provided an opportunity to hear what the speakers did as well as to meet other interns, enabling us to get a holistic understanding of the creative industry. In retrospect, I recall that the events Creative Access ran with people from the publishing industry were among the least diverse, compared with events focusing on other industries, such as TV and music, but they were just as inspiring, with the likes of HarperCollins’ Natalie Jerome and Ebury Deputy MD Jake Lingwood speaking. Since then, I think Creative Access has had a catalytic affect and inspired more young BAME people to go into publishing.

I worked in an incredible marketing team, filled with people from diverse backgrounds who constantly encourage each other to think differently.

“That, at its heart, is what I think inclusion and diversity is about: celebrating the mixing of difference.”

For publishing to become even more successful than it already is, it should introduce schemes both bold and small—such as the courses of action that many industries are already taking, successfully—in order to attract talent, publish authors and grow readership from communities and backgrounds that might otherwise have missed out on what publishers have to offer.”

Clarissa was promoted to Senior Marketing Executive at Ebury Publishing in May 2016 and in 2017 was listed as a Bookseller Rising Star.

She joined Kings Road Publishing – part of Bonnier Books – in April 2018 as Senior Marketing Manager and then joined Acast as UK Content Manager in 2019. She is Executive Producer and Manager of the Mostly Lit and What Matters podcasts. Clarissa was cited as one of the 150 most influential people in publishing by The Bookseller’s in December 2020.