Some 1.9+ million UK women are out of work because of caring responsibilities and want to return to employment. Meanwhile, The Women’s Business Council has identified returners as a major priority – 91% of potential returners are women.
This Spring, Geometry UK is one of 36 agencies partnering with Creative Equals, Facebook, D&AD, The Dots, and Diageo in launching a newly created ‘returners’ scheme #CreativeComeBack.
Explains Elke van Tienen, HR Director, Geometry UK, “The goal is to put creatives who have been out of the workforce back into work and drive real change in addressing gender imbalance in an industry where only 12% of Creative Directors are women”
#CreativeComeBack, run by Creative Equals, has received a £65,000 grant from the Government Equalities Office [GEO], only one in five initiatives awarded a grant by the GEO start-up fund tackling gender equality.
Hunger is clear - 195 women applied to the scheme which is designed to upskill participants and give them the confidence they need for today’s business world. The 48 successful participants include TV producers, executive producers, designers, art directors, concept creatives and creative directors. The initiative is open not only to returning mothers but for women who have taken career breaks to care for relatives or recover from illness, even PTSD.
Elspeth Lynn, Executive Creative Officer, Geometry UK, comments “It’s all too easy for an industry to overlook those who don’t fit into obvious boxes. The only way we can move forward is to increase the range of experiences that creatives have. The Creative Equals programme is a brilliant way to achieve this.”
Geometry is one of twelve agencies to host a ‘returners’ team working on briefs for two of Diageo’s iconic global brands – Baileys and Guinness, Geometry’s Executive Creative Officer, Elspeth Lynn and HR Director, Elke van Tienen, drew together Geometry specialists from eCommerce, omnichannel marketing, strategic planning and creativity to coach and mentor the three would-be returners. The teams subsequently pitched to an audience of a hundred including Diageo and Dame Cilla Snowball, Chair of the Women’s Business Council.
Elke van Tienen added, “It’s astonishing that highly-qualified creative women who have taken career breaks find it so hard to return to our industry. The wealth of experience and skills built outside work makes their talent incredibly relevant in today’s diverse society. We’re delighted and proud to support #CreativeComeBack”.
Interviews for placements offering flexible working at Geometry with #CreativeComeBack participants are currently under way.