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Opinion and Insight
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When Girls Create Culture, They Change Culture

FCB EMEA, 6 months, 1 week ago

FCB Inferno's Nic Willison on the agency's Creative Traineeship programme for girls aged 18-24

When Girls Create Culture, They Change Culture

Idris Elba is a pretty cool guy. So I’m going to kick off with a quote from the man himself, before telling you why I’m so excited about Monday 11th April.

“The Britain I come from is the most successful, diverse, multicultural country on the earth. But here’s my point: you wouldn’t know that if you turned on the TV. So many of our creative decision-makers share the same background.”

Of course, Idris – one of Britain’s most celebrated and awarded actors – was talking about the lack of diversity within the TV industry. But unfortunately, his observations are true of advertising, too. And we know it, because everyone is talking about it… from industry press, to Clients, to the IPA.

So I’m totally thrilled to say that in just under three week’s time - in collaboration with The GirlHood - we’re launching a pilot Creative Traineeship programme for girls aged 18-24 from diverse backgrounds to tackle that exact challenge.

“What does that mean?” I hear you ask. 

Well, it means that nine London girls will be taking part in an epic 5-week crash course into the creative department. During that time, the girls will look at developing character, culture and creativity to prepare them for life as a professional creative. They’ll be working on briefs, attending talks from different departments and be exposed to industry events such as Advertising Week Europe and the D&AD Festival.

At the end of the programme (as long as they love us as much as I hope we’ll love them) we’re hoping to hire at least one girl as a creative intern, with the opportunity for a permanent position thereafter.

“Shouldn’t we be hiring based on talent, not diversity?” said the online troll.

Why thank you troll, I’m glad you asked. Yes of course, we will be hiring based on talent. Working with Create Jobs, we’ll select girls who show an aptitude for creativity during our recruitment workshop and one-on-one interview process. It’s just that unlike the usual routes into industry, we won’t be asking for degrees, polished portfolios or endless unpaid internships, because these are the standard requirements that make our industry inaccessible to a diverse generation of undiscovered talent.

“The world needs more interesting” is our agency philosophy.

It’s a no-brainer that the more diverse our departments (and thus our combined experiences/interests/tastes…), the more interesting our work will become. And when our girls create culture, they’ll change culture.

But as well as this, what we believe is really, truly interesting about our partnership with The GirlHood is that we’re being brave, and we’re going to test and learn along the way. We don’t have a shiny, silver-bullet solution to our industry’s diversity challenge, but we sure as hell want to get to the bottom of it. And this creative traineeship is just the start.

So for anyone who’d like to be involved, apply to the scheme or just generally say hello, feel free to email us on GirlHood@fcbinferno.com. And to our future nine girls… Welcome to The Hood!  

Nic Willison, Senior Strategist, FCB Inferno