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More than Words: Creative Access calls for greater action & accountability from creative industry leaders

More than Words. Creative Access calls for greater action and accountability for diversity and inclusion from creative industry leaders

Following results of a survey of over 250 people in the Creative Access community, Creative Access has launched #MoreThanWords; a call to action for businesses to make a whole-hearted commitment to bringing in and uplifting under-represented talent within the creative industries. The campaign highlight the benefits of diverse hiring and call for companies to back up recent statements with action.

The #MoreThanWords campaign invites employers to commit to making changes in three core areas:

  1. Hiring diverse candidates when recruiting
  2. Investing in staff from under-represented groups to progress to senior positions
  3. Creating an inclusive workplace so new and existing diverse staff feel valued and able to flourish

Josie Dobrin, Chief Executive and co-founder of Creative Access said: Creative Access is a community based on the shared values of equity and creativity. It has been disheartening for all of us to see hiring stall and internships frozen or cancelled, but from speaking with so many of our community, we know the thing they – and the creative industries – need most right now is action. If we are ever going to ensure genuine representation, that action needs to be employment. That’s why we want to provide a platform for our community to be seen and most importantly heard and hired.

We are deeply troubled by our survey findings which show how disproportionately our community has been impacted by recent events; more likely to be furloughed, have work cancelled or postponed; to be affected by the COVID virus itself; and to be impacted by the longstanding structural inequality within the creative industries.

We know that there is a will to make a change, but it will take more than words. We’re asking organisations to join with us to commit to bringing in and uplifting talent from under-represented communities.”

Creative Access has placed over 1750 trainees in paid internships and supported over 30,000 people since its launch in 2012. By joining Creative Access as an employer partner – alongside companies including ITV, Hachette, Apple, the National Theatre, the Financial Times and Pan Macmillan – businesses will be an ally in improving representation within the creative industries.

Ryan Russell, currently playing Michael Bailey in Coronation Street, said:

“I owe a massive thank you to Creative Access. I believe I would have never heard of, or been given the opportunity to be part of a BBC internship, if it wasn’t for this organisation. This was the kick start which lead me to an on-screen career within the BBC and subsequently ITV.”

Dean Webster, a producer and director and former Creative Access intern added: “Creative Access has given me invaluable support throughout my television career and it’s no exaggeration to say that I would not be where I am today without them. The television industry is notoriously difficult to get into for those who don’t have pre-existing connections and the team at Creative Access helped me secure a place at a production company, supported me with training and gave me the skills and connections necessary to flourish within the industry. Despite many positive statements of intent – the barriers BAME people face still persist today, and COVID19 only exacerbating them. Creative Access plays an essential role in helping talented BAME into the creative industries and nurturing diverse leaders, and we need them now more than ever.”

Companies interested in partnering with Creative Access to commit to #MoreThanWords can do so here.