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Diversity & Belonging

I learnt it from my mentee:
bridging the talent gap in Reverse

Our Director of Diversity, Belonging and Engagement, Dionne Maxwell, talks to us about the re-launched Reverse mentorship program at Jungle Creations.

Working in the creative industry it is widely known that it's not what you know it's who you know. Networks have been regarded as a sure fire way to get into the industry and forge a career. Whilst to some extent this is true I would also argue that the not knowing also extends to what the different roles are within the industry so what can you do when the talent pipe line is frozen? You purposefully defrost it.

In June we started the second season of our bespoke 'Reverse' mentoring programme, with our partners Peer2Peer Education where 7 employees from Jungle Creations worked directly with 7 young people in years 12 and 13 to help them explore different potential career options within the creative industry. The mentees partnered with experience from production, social media, creative, strategists, creators and marketing to understand the different intersections of working with brands and creating campaigns and content. In turn the mentees supported with helping our people explore the nuance in narratives for different demographics.

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As part of the program, the mentees had the opportunity to undergo a shadowing day. A few of the mentees had the opportunity to shadow Four Nine’s Tea at Four video podcast. This was a great opportunity for the mentees to ask some of the team (our creative producer, videographer and content creators) questions about their jobs and career paths to gain a better understanding of the varied roles available in the media industry.

'Being able to experience the behind the scenes of a podcast I enjoy and watch online was a fun experience. It was hilarious watching them film and record the podcast, but it was also educational too!' - Anastasia, Mentee

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At the end of the 10 week programme, the pairs presented back a project piece that they have been working on for the chance to receive 2 weeks paid work experience. The pairs were tasked with increasing understanding of the barriers, challenges and success faced and experienced by people from different demographics, as well as exploring the potential career routes available in the creative industries that may not be known. The feedback each week has been so encouraging with staff Jungle Creations having commented on how much they are learning and the students thoroughly enjoying having a behind the scenes look at the creation of shoots, brand strategies and podcasts.

This programme is very close to my heart and something that I developed very closely with Heena Njie Director Peer2Peer Education as we were both aware that some young people had no idea of what a career in the creative industry could look like or that it was even accessible to them. Looking forward to continuing to unfreeze pipelines and create more opportunities for people from growing communities.

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