Young Women in the Creative Industries
What is creativity? If you know please tell us because we have no clue. We thought that creativity is simply based on everything artsy e.g. painting, drawing, sketching, etc. This obviously shows that our knowledge is limited as we thought the only creative people in our lives were the art, dance and drama teachers at our school. Yet the Creative Industries website defines the creative industries as: Advertising, Architecture, Craft, Creative Tech, Design, Games, Music, Publishing and TV & Film.
The government seems to define the creative industries as, 'those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent, and which have potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property'.
For an industry that generates £91.8 billion a year for the UK economy, with 1 in 8 UK businesses in the creative industry and has an employment growing at 4 times the rate of the UK's workforce as a whole (according to DCMS), it is strange that we know so little about it.
We think that this is due to the lack of awareness in schools as they don't promote it as much as they promote the traditional professions such as medicine or law. An article that we read said, “At school you get taught that a career is a doctor, engineer, lawyer… all the basics but you don’t get taught what you can do on the creative side. People see that as a hobby!”. Not only is there a lack of awareness, but it is affecting the students' creative choices as the Creative Industries Federation states, 'In 2017, entries for GCSEs in creative subjects fell by 47,000. Entry to GCSE Design and Technology fell by 18,800, accounting for 40% of the overall drop'.
Another annoying factor that contributes to this decline is the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) which this article depicts as, 'the controversial English Baccalaureate (EBacc), which replaces existing GCSEs with five compulsory subjects – English, Maths, Science, a modern foreign language, and either geography or history – plus two other subjects that students can choose for themselves'. Keren House, the creative director of the design consultancy Aricot Vert added, '"The depth of our intelligence as a species is so much greater than our ability to perform well in English, Maths, History, Geography and Science exams".
Yet, elite schools do foster an interest in the creative world towards their students, as The Guardian quotes, 'Creativity can be taught to anyone so why are we leaving it to private schools'. This is reflected upon the creative industry as 14% of the workforce attended an independent/fee-paying school, double the proportion of the UK population that is 7% (Creative Media Workforce Survey 2015). Unsurprisingly, a higher proportion of graduates had a parent with a degree (47%) than non-graduates (27%).
The location of the workforce is mainly in London with the majority of women based in North London and North West England (e.g. Manchester). According to the London Government, in 2016 the percentage of men in the creative industry was 63.1% and the women percentage was 36.9%. This emphasises the gender gap, however the gap is narrowing as in 2009 the figure was only 27%.
These are the specific areas that women are in:
Makeup & Hairdressing – 81%
Costume & Wardrobe – 73%
Legal Workforce – 56%
Distribution Sales & Marketing– 55%
Business Management – 52%
Broadcast Management – 51%
From being at Reluctantly Brave, we have learnt that creativity goes beyond art and this has given us another perspective on careers in the industry. We have made our own game, designed a protein bar and we learnt a new strategy of brainstorming, where everyone is included. We also had a graphic design workshop, where we were able to learn about typography as well as customising our own fonts. We think that to increase awareness of the creative industries, RB should give talks to teachers and young people alike, on how creativity and imagination is as important as everything else. RB has opened our eyes to a whole new world of possibility where great imagination can be applied to whatever we want to do in the future. We hope that our experience can be put to use and for young people to gain the same attitude once change occurs.
Liliana Ferreira ,15, Im currently in Year 10 and chose Geography and History for my GCSEs. One of my biggest interests is Fashion, everything from watching “Say Yes to The Dress” to High Street shopping. I also love travelling and going on holiday and would love to (as cliché as it sounds) travel the world!
Isabel Tarragona-Turu. My parents are Spanish but I was born here in London. I am one of six and I am the youngest. I like to read, play guitar, listen to music and spend time with my family. I love to travel and I especially love going to Spain. Recently I went to Seville and it was beautiful. I am 15 and in Year 10. I am studying History, Geography, Maths, Science, etc. I am currently revising for my mocks which will give me a predicted grade for next year when I do my GCSEs.
Maya de Freitas diaz