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This Satirical Book Holds a Mirror Up to Creative Industries Socioeconomic Diversity Problem


Tongue in cheek book from AnalogFolk aims to drive change

This Satirical Book Holds a Mirror Up to Creative Industries Socioeconomic Diversity Problem

Creative Mentor Network (CMN) the UK charity with a mission to make the creative industries more socio-economically diverse and inclusive has partnered with creative agency AnalogFolk to launch Making It In The Creative Industry: A Practical Guide, a 60-page satirical manual highlighting the multiple barriers that young people from low socioeconomic backgrounds face when trying to get a job and succeed in the creative industry. The book's tongue-in-cheek advice is accompanied by hard-hitting statistics and illustrations by award-winning artist Toby Leigh (Tobatron), with a clear CTA to help drive change through mentorship.

The proportion of people from lower socio-economic backgrounds working in the creative industry has more than halved since the 1970s, falling from 16.4% to just 7.9%.

Creative Mentor Network has published the book to hold a mirror up to the creative industry - inclusive of all sectors - addressing the sad reality of how a certain section of society have been able to get their foot in the door and make their way, while other young people have been prevented. Creative Mentor Network is working to change this, so it’s simply a person’s talent that matters rather than who they know, where they live and the privileges they can afford.

The book is a call-to-arms for the industry to become more accessible and inclusive and provides a way to do so. Through its mentoring programmes, Creative Mentor Network pairs creative professionals with young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds looking to get into the creative industry. The organisation has distributed 250 limited edition copies of the book to key figures across the creative industry to encourage them to become Creative Mentor Network mentors.

The tongue-in-cheek book includes ingrained practices and attitudes such as:

  • In the unlikely event that you have the same regional accent as someone else in the office, pick a different one. A ‘normal’ one. There can’t be two, ‘the northern ones’. It just doesn’t work. Accompanied by the fact; in a study, 76% of employers admitted discriminating against candidates based on their accent due to class-based assumptions.
  • Every word, every image and every thought is at least 20% more creative by virtue of having been created on a Mac. So take out a small-to-medium loan at a competitive interest rate and get yourself one*.  If you use a PC, people will spit on your shoes. And rightly so. *Ensure that it’s updated to the latest operating system - macOS Cannes.
  • There is a good reason why imposter syndrome is so common among people from lower socio-economic backgrounds: the creative industry is silly and everything is made up. Literally no-one knows what they’re doing, but some people are more comfortable pretending they do. To fit in, live with debilitating self-doubt inwardly, but emit boisterous arrogance outwardly. Accompanied by the fact University students from lower socio-economic backgrounds are often the first in their families to attend university. They often feel out of place and lack the time and money to engage with other students.

Katie Thomson-Greene, managing director, Creative Mentor Network says, "Whilst some people may be able to laugh at themselves, we understand this book may challenge people’s perspectives and make them feel uncomfortable. If that's the case, it highlights that change needs to happen more. For too long, the industry has been dominated by people from higher socioeconomic backgrounds who have not faced the same barriers as those from less privileged backgrounds. From unpaid internships, network-driven recruitment and even awareness of the jobs that exist, there are too many invisible barriers that many people don't think about but are making it even harder for the young creatives in our community. Our hope is that this book will shed light on these barriers and inspire individuals and businesses to act towards creating a more diverse and inclusive industry. We envision an industry that values individuality, creativity, and skill above nepotism and homogeneity. This book is a call to action for anyone who shares that vision."

Colin Byrne, regional executive creative director, Europe at digital creative agency AnalogFolk says, "Creative industries can and should reflect our cultural landscape and the communities we live in. There’s a hotbed of undiscovered talent out there that’s not getting a look in or being considered properly. The talent is losing out, the creative community is losing out and we are doing a disservice to the people we’re creating for. That's why we're so proud to work with Creative Mentor Network to highlight the importance of driving change and creating a more inclusive and accessible industry for everyone.”

Trevor Johnson, head of marketing, GBS, EUI at TikTok says, "This book is a helpful step towards breaking down the barriers that have hindered the progress of aspiring young talents from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Working with Creative Mentor Network in the past, I've seen the incredible impact their mentoring programs have had on young creatives. By providing guidance and support, we have the power to unlock the untapped potential of these aspiring artists, designers, and innovators. It's not just about changing lives; it's about transforming our industry for the better."

Creative Mentor Network currently work with a range of partners across the creative industry, including advertising companies like AnalogFolk, MullenLowe and Bulletproof, media companies like Sony Music UK, Amazon Prime Video and The Jamie Oliver Group, to broader areas like Soho House, The APA and Meta.

The book Making It In The Creative Industry: A Practical Guide is available for purchase on the Creative Mentor Network website, along with more information, from Tuesday 16th May. Creative Mentor Network is running a limited edition giveaway of the book across their social channels. Visit here to learn more and to sign up for a mentoring program.

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Categories: Media and Entertainment, Books

AnalogFolk, Tue, 16 May 2023 11:06:00 GMT