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March, 2020

Women in the creative industries

Happy International Women’s day! As the theme this year each for equal, to mark the occasion, we took some time to reflect on how far the creative industries have come in terms of equality and to highlight some of the incredible women in the industry.

Almost 1 in 8 UK businesses are creative businesses and jobs in the creative sector are growing at three times the UK average. Currently over 2 million people in the UK are employed in the creative industries and it is projected an additional one million jobs will be created by 2030. But while these statistics are impressive, it appears there is still a fair way to go when it comes to the gender imbalance faced by the entire sector.

More women than men study creative arts subjects at university, but a smaller proportion of women go into creative jobs after graduation. 40.6% of male creative arts graduates who were in work six months after graduation were employed in the creative industries, compared to only 30.3% of their female counterparts. In fact, according to the DCMS, the creative economy ‘employs a lower proportion of women than the wider UK economy with 37.1% of jobs in the creative industries filled by women compared to 46.9% in the UK as a whole’.

Representation of women in the creatives sector has increased from 53,750 in 2009 to 69,590 in 2012. Women represented 36 per cent of the total workforce in 2012 compared to 27 per cent in 2009. This reverses the previous decline seen between 2006-2009. However, only 11% of creative directors are women.

How can the creative industries tackle the problem and make the sector a level playing field?

  • Include soft skills in arts academic studies. Provide opportunities for creative arts students to develop the soft skills necessary for working in the industry, such as assertiveness, communication and self-promotion to better prepare graduates
  • Provide role models. Draw attention to women working in the industry and balance the work you use as inspiration to showcase to graduates the potential opportunities available to them
  • Offer placements and work experience to young women and provide training that will help them secure a permanent role
  • Raise awareness against bias
  • Share and shout about fantastic work in the industry, created by and spearheaded by women

Check out some of our favourite women in the creative sector!

Zoe Power 

Marketing Executive Jaz picked Bristol based mural painter, illustrator and lettering artist Zoe Power – “I love Zoe’s use of colour, pattern and impactful messaging. Each of her pieces feels fresh and unique yet completely recognisable. Every time I spot one of her murals out on the streets of Bristol it fills me with joy, I highly recommend giving her a follow on Instagram to brighten up your feed.”

Caterina Bianchni

Business Director Dave chose Caterina Bianchni, the founder of creative consultancy and branding studio, NARI – “I had the pleasure of working alongside Caterina a few years ago. Since then she’s launched her own studio, and I’ve been really impressed with their work. They’ve built up an amazing client list in a relatively short space of time. Long may it continue.”

Marylou Faure 

Parisian illustrator and artist, Marylou Faure’s work was selected by designer Lewis – “I’m really inspired by Marylou Faure’s vibrant colour palette and quirky style. Her work is playful, but she passionately believes in using her skills for good and working on projects for a great cause.”

Rachel Joy Price

Our Creative Director Tom picked London-based lettering artist Rachel Joy Price – “Frikking love her Instagram feed, occasionally more corporate stuff but mostly; fun experiments, visual illusions, statement prints and wall murals galore (and that’s not even acknowledging the killer colour palettes).”

Jessica Whittle

Jessica Whittle was chosen by Account Manager Stu – “Jess is a kickass designer who puts her heart and soul into every job. She’s a self-professed 20-something grandma with a great eye for detail and is overall just a legendary creative and friend.”

Anna Murray 

Designer Si highlighted Anna Murray, co-founder of Patternity – “Aside from being a fan of Anna’s designs I’m a big admirer of the way she links patterns to lifestyles on a global scale, aiming to bring people together from all different backgrounds through a mutual love of creativity. Her research seems to involve a lot of travelling which is what keeps the visual output so fresh in my eyes.”

Vivienne Westwood

British fashion designer and business woman Vivienne Westwood is a favourite of Director Steve – “I always remember Westwood’s first shop on Kings Road in London, she exploded onto the scene and revolutionised British style and design.”

Ray Eames 

Director Nick is a huge fan of American artist, designer and filmmaker Ray Eames – “As someone who’s tried his hand at designing and constructing furniture, I greatly admire Ray Eames’ work. Her work alongside her husband Charles Eames was groundbreaking.”

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to see more of the work that inspires the team here at Workbrands!