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Google give Creative Access a lovely welcome for Valentine’s Day masterclass

Chaired by Google’s Abi Gyimah and Janay Sor, we were also joined by an inspirational panel of Google staff – Chuck Stephens (Diversity Lead), Will Usdin (Brand Marketing Manager) and Hana Tanimura (Senior Designer). The session covered the company’s diversity, marketing and digital education strategies and gave us a detailed insight into how one of the world’s leading organisations operate. 

IMG_9238Chuck Stephens kicked off the presentations by giving us a solid overview on some of the ways Google aim to increase their diversity at all levels of the company. From engaging with production studios around the world in order to discuss ways technology can be featured in TV programmes and adverts, through to making works of art accessible to everyone through their Google Arts and Culture initiative, Chuck talked how Google are always looking for ways to get people interested in tech.  

Chuck talked about ‘psychological safety’ and how it’s his job to ensure that everyone feels comfortable being themselves at work. He said “The key is to understand what your realities are and realise it might not be the same for someone else”. 


Brand Marketing Manager, Will Usdin, was up next. He began by explaining that his motto in life is “learning to do by doing”. He talked about the responsibility of working in marketing at Google and how it empowers you to use your voice to make a positive impact. Will emphasised the importance of both arts and sciences in technology and how the sector needs people from both backgrounds in order for it to continue to thrive.

As a Marketing Manager, it’s my job to tell Google’s story. In order to do that, we need the sciences and the arts – we’re not going to get anywhere unless we marry the two. Will Usdin

His advice to the audience was “to read”, citing East of Eden by Steinbeck and Notes from Underground by Dostoyevsky as two of the books which had most influenced him.

Hana Tanimura spoke of her journey to landing her job as a Senior Designer at Google. After studying a degree in Painting and Journalism, she quickly realised that she didn’t want to pursue either paths. She moved to London to study Graphic Design and would spend all of her time hanging out in a East London book shop. It was a chance encounter with a customer who worked at a nearby advertising agency that led her to land her first job in adverting. 

Hana spoke about her experiences as a “Google 5’er” and gave examples of the projects she had worked on, including Google’s Internet Saathi initiative that aims to transform the lives of women through digital education. 

If you have a genuine desire to make a change and do something big, you have to do it with humility. Hana Tanimura

Hana closed the session by offering three key pieces of advice: 

  1. Be open minded
  2. Follow your gut
  3. Enjoy the ride

We would like to say a massive thank you to Google for hosting us in their beautiful offices and for our great panel of speakers for sharing their wonderful words of advice.