Creative Access announces results of annual survey charting career optimism among diverse talent & employer progress towards DEI goals in creative industries
- Respondents feeling sufficiently prepared & resourced to advance their careers has dropped since 2022
- A third of respondents haven’t progressed in the last year
- 1 in 5 don’t see DEI progress from their company
New research from leading diversity & inclusion social enterprise Creative Access confirms a dip in optimism about career futures in individuals from under-represented groups in the creative industries.
The Creative Access Thrive Report 2023 comes after a gruelling year for talent as well as organisations navigating the world of work – from the return to the office, technology shifts and staff retention. The not-for-profit reflects a decline in sentiment around career prospects in disabled individuals (54% versus the average 62%), and markedly so when intersectionality is taken into consideration, for example if an individual is also Black, Asian or Ethnically Diverse (BAED) which drops to 50%.
Increased employer ED&I investment – the results?
The report findings show that despite 68% of organisations upping DE&I spend in the last year, talent from under-represented groups still faces significant barriers to progression and employers are not focused enough on addressing these, which leads to churn:
- Only a third (33%) of individuals from under-represented groups in the wider creative industries have progressed in their career in the last 12 months – but for those who have received support services (such as: training, mentoring & networking) this significantly rises to 67% having progressed
- And a third (31)% of individuals from under-represented groups across the creative industries do not feel they have the skills & knowledge to progress in their careers
Under-represented talent stuck in the middle
Organisations within the creative sector such as PR, broadcast/media, publishing, performing arts and more are currently putting most of their efforts into improving diversity and inclusion at entry-level (45%), however when asked where they felt their organisation should focus their DE&I efforts, 70% said it should be at all career levels of the organisation.
How do employers support diverse talent?
From respondents who aren’t in receipt of support services a lack of networks and contacts was highlighted as a key barrier to career progression, where only 29% of BAED individuals feel armed with career-enhancing contacts (such as mentors or career champions), this drops even more so if individuals are from lower socio-economic status (lower SES) backgrounds 24%, or are disabled 21%. Respondents largely pointed to five main career progression barriers:
- Organisational structures preventing progress
- Financial barriers (for equipment or training)
- Physical location where an individual lives
- Lack of training
- Lack access to networks, such as mentor or career champion
Bibi Hilton, CEO, Creative Access: ”It’s encouraging to see that despite a year of challenging economic headwinds, organisations are encouragingly still prioritising DE&I work. Whether appointing DE&I leads or teams, or increasing overall spend to reach their DE&I goals. However, while 38% admit to having a DE&I strategy in place, that means the vast majority do not, and we’re seeing the knock-on impact by way of increased poor mental health and a lack of career progression in under-represented talent who are without support. It begs the question as to whether employers are investing in the most impactful areas to acquire, develop & retain diverse talent at all levels.”
Read the report in full here.