On Wednesday February 13th the Creative Careers Student Committee welcomed a wonderful panel of speakers to discuss the future of diversity in the creative and cultural sector. Dr. Kate McMillan chaired the panel and lead the discussion with introductions from Saurabh Kakkar, Nadine Persaud, Hakeem Onibudo, Jodi-Alissa Bickerton, Amy Turton and Catherine Ritman-Smith. The discussion identified the problematic use of the term diversity, with the terms inclusivity, intersectionality and social justice deemed more accurate and sensitive to the reality. Jodi-Alissa and Hakeem discussed visibility, how seeing an image of yourself in the industry is welcoming and encourages one to feel a sense of belonging. For meaningful change we must, in Nadine’s words, ‘walk the walk’ and move beyond the discussion to create the change we want to see. Saurabh underlined the importance of the economic argument when presenting the benefits of diversity. Sometimes to actualise change, you have to make an argument that persuades people of its economic value beyond its intrinsic social value alone. Catherine touched upon the importance of education; learning the value of inclusivity through shared experience in schools and institutions, and Amy discussed education’s specific role in relation to unconscious bias, particularly within hiring practices.
Emma Áine O’Leary (member of the Committee) writes “We hope this brief overview encourages those not able to participate to consider the future of the creative and cultural sector and how we might embrace inclusivity and intersectionality going forward.” For more information on the speakers and the event visit the Creative Careers Student Committee website.