Updated: Dec 31, 2019
A little over a year ago, I had an idea of creating a podcast that interviewed women about their role, creative career and their journey. If you’ve listened to some of the earlier episodes of Series 1, you’ll know that I was fired into action after hearing a statistic being bounced about at the time that only '11% of women held the role of creative director within the Media & Comms industry.’ Abysmal.
That statistic, that fact, haunted me! I was literally losing sleep. I kept coming back to how could I help nudge (ideally blow up) that statistic in a positive direction?
Something occurred to me in the wee hours of one particularly ‘awake’ night: before you arrive at the first hurdle - trying to get your foot through the industry door - you might not understand the industry and where the hell the door is. Lack of available information for roles and career progression within the creative sectors was more like a brick wall - you have no idea what is on the other side and if it is somewhere you’d like to be. Plus, it can be hard to climb over, or bust through! This had been my direct experience and I realised that there were so many roles across the creative sectors that I still had no idea what they actually did.
So, with a little hesitation, and quite a lot of uncertainty, I launched a weekly podcast - Greater than 11%. I set myself the target of 50 episodes across the year and was hopeful people would listen. As a realist I thought, at best, I’d get a handful of subscribers - my supportive besties! I was completely surprised, if not a tad overwhelmed, by the fact that in the last year we achieved 12k downloads.
It was hard work, but it was also full of many beautiful, thought provoking and exciting moments. I learnt so much about creative sectors, roles and professions. I also discovered very early on in the process, that women who weren’t seen ‘at top of their game’ were rarely asked to discuss their career or publicly applauded for their achievements, and that biases in relation to gender and race are regretfully still at play in many work places. Also, that definitions of success should be personal, even sacred, and that there’s a very real need to understand your own value to ensure you can place your stake in the ground when negotiating - contracts, salary, working hours, etc.
I learnt, grew, connected and was challenged by the podcast pretty much on a daily basis (50 episodes in a year was ridiculous ambitious) but if I was to distill every experience of Greater than 11% into one thought or one feeling it is this: the urgent need to continue to support, celebrate, shout for and cheer on women, and to create spaces and platforms to facilitate this.
So here we are are - Series 2 of Greater than 11%.
We went live on the 27th November. And it’s no longer just me. Episodes are currently being produced by the super talented, Ursie Downes, who will also be doubling up a host in the coming months. We’ve changed the format slightly and added a monthly round up of the interviews, alongside industry news and a panel discussion hosted by the ever generous and whip-smart, Crystal Eisinger. I will be continuing to interview women about their roles, careers and creating space to honour their incredible achievements and accolades.
Greater than 11% is also extending its scope to include blogs, events, a monthly newsletter and are in the process of working towards a quarterly magazine. If you want to get involved, submit a blog or article, recommend someone to interview, or cheer us on in other ways, please drop us a note from our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.
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