“More than words”

– Sana Iqbal

This was the mantra from our 26 board session with Josie Dobrin and Nick Boothroyd from Creative Access, a charity which supports people from under-represented backgrounds to thrive in the creative industries.

48% of London’s population is non-white yet only 8% are working in the creative industry. As a British-Pakistani creative myself, this was shocking but not surprising. Josie and Nick shared simple changes we could all make to create a positive impact. 

Paying interns, the living wage opens the door for young people from low-income backgrounds to get their foot in the door. We also need to be brave and call out unpaid work at organisations we work for or with, to break this industry wide culture. 

The glass ceiling for inclusion at senior level positions needs to be broken too. Hiring senior staff from under-represented backgrounds not only increases innovation and profits, but it also creates role-models to inspire under-represented communities that they can succeed in the arts. Changes such as posting jobs with salary expectations, sharing adverts in diverse, creative groups to being open to candidates with unorthodox experience are ways to support this. 

At 26 we are looking to do more to support Creative Access and representation in the creative industry. The diversity masterclass series has been a fantastic way to learn and practise inclusivity in writing. So far, we’ve tackled hidden disabilities and race – and you can sign up for our next session, which will focus on gender and trans identity, now. It takes place on 22 September and we’d love to see as many 26 members there (virtually) as possible.

We’re also toying with the idea of a mentorship scheme to support new talent and strengthen our community. If you’re interested in being a mentor or mentee please drop us an email at sanaiqbaldesign@gmail.com

– Sana Iqbal

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