I LIKE NETWORKING was founded by Isabel Sachs, who has worked in the culture industry for over twelve years across Brazil and the UK. She noticed how hard it was to build a network in a new country and how difficult it was to find a job in the culture or the creative industries based on merit alone and encountered an astounding lack of diversity in the sector. Once COVID-19 hit the globe and the unemployment rate skyrocketed, she decided it was time to do something about it.
I LIKE NETWORKING is designed to promote greater diversity and inclusion in culture and creative industries across the world, particularly among women and non-binary people.
Mentees will have sessions to develop their resumes, skills and personal brand, but will also be connected to the mentors’ network, who will personally introduce them to other key players in the industry, opening doors and building connections. The international scheme also means that this is not just a London-centric proposition.
The first edition of the mentoring scheme will be free for those elected through an online application form. I LIKE NETWORKING aims to become a platform highlighting diverse talent across the creative industries. Mentees will be able to advise on who would be their favourite mentors and an advisory board will shortlist candidates.
The I LIKE NETWORKING applications launched in July and the program starts in September 2020, with the goal of being a rolling scheme running twice a year. We had a huge amount of interest in the first edition, with over 420 applicants.
MENTORS FOR THE FIRST EDITION:
- Anna Helwing, VIP Manager Europe & Americas / VIP Representative Switzerland, Art Basel
- Beki Bateson, Consultant, Arts & Festivals
- Burcu Yuksel, Director, Gaia Art Foundation
- Carol Almiron, Communications Manager, FIFA
- Cassi Young, Specialist, Head of Sale - Modern & Contemporary Art, Bonhams
- Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Journalist and head of editorial at gal-dem
- Claudel Goy, Managing Director, arebyte
- Daisy Heath, Executive Director, Kiln Theatre
- Edmund Connolly, Partnerships Manager, Google Arts & Culture
- Farooq Chaudhry OBE, Producer, Akram Khan Company
- Fernanda Moraes, Art Advisor, Founder +FV Arte Bureau
- Francesca Gavin, Writer, Editor and Curator
- Gilbert Johnson, Artist Manager and Co-Founder, Hear This Records; Marketing Specialist, Final Draft
- Hamid Habib, Strategy Partner, Craft Media
- Ifeoma Dike, Art Advisor and Curator
- Jade Coles, Events Curator
- Jennifer O’Reilly, Head of Commercial Strategy & Cross-Category Athletes, Nike
- Jessica Teal, Principal, Teal Media
- Jess Kangalee, Good Energy PR
- João Paulo Testa, Creative Director
- Jonathan May, Arts Programmer
- Josh Moore, Design Director BBC Creative
- Isabella Coraça, Fashion Curator & Lecturer
- Manuela Rahal & Marcela Zanon, Founders, Rahall Agency
- Marina Filipe, Senior Manager, Original Productions, Turner's Kids Cluster
- Marine Tanguy, Director, MTart Agency
- Marta Gut, Global PR Manager, Rapha
- Nicky van Breugel, Head of Membership and Volunteer Engagement, CASE
- Philippine Vernes, Head of Individual Giving, National History Museum
- Ruby Baker, Creative Producer
- Salma Tuqan, Deputy Director, Delfina Foundation
- Sara Nisha Adams, Editorial Director and Author
- Sophie Busby, Corporate Partnerships, Tate
- Tobi Kyeremateng, Cultural Producer
- Veronica Pessoa, Music Manager
- Victoria Ceridono, Journalist, Blogger and Influencer, former editor-at-large for Glamour Brazil
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WE ARE TRYING TO SOLVE?
I LIKE NETWORKING aims to tackle the gender, racial and disability gap by promoting greater inclusion in the culture and creative industries across the world. Several groups are currently massively underrepresented in the culture and creative industries, particularly across gender, race and disability.
- Representation across the creative industries has not changed since the 1980s. Part of the problem is the narrow way in which employers recruit for roles, favouring academic qualifications and work experience above skills-based measurements. (A New Direction)
- In the UK, Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse workers are paid around £3.2bn less than their white counterparts every year. (Gender Pay Campaign, 2018)
- Young people looking to break into the arts are expected to undertake multiple internships – 86% of which are unpaid.(Arts Professional, 2018)
- All sectors pay men more and in most the gap has grown (Gov.UK/FT, 2019)
- Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse groups are the least represented both in creative and cultural education and workplaces, which leads to a more narrow representation of society in media, advertising and arts Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse workers make up 3% of the workforce in museums, galleries and libraries, 4% in film & TV, and 5% in music and performing/visual arts (Statista, 2019)
- Using identical CVs and cover letters, Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse job applicants had to send 60% more applications to receive the same number of callbacks as white applicants (Nuffield College Centre for Social Investigation, 2019)
- In the UK Music Industry, the average gender pay gap in 2019 was 26% (Music Business Worldwide, 2020)
HOW WILL IT WORK?
The first iteration of I LIKE NETWORKING will run from September - December 2020, with four sessions between mentors and mentees working on skills, CV, pitching and beyond. The mentors will also introduce the mentees to their own network, creating a support system.
We have received in-kind support from a series of brands for the first edition, which demonstrates the strength of our offer.
HEIGHTS developed a series of working-from-home materials for our mentees and applicants, as well as offering 50% discount for all I LIKE NETWORKING friends and sending a gift-bag to all mentors, their largest in-kind support to date.
UNDERPINNED will be highlighting I LIKE NETWORKING applicants on their platform for a week on an exclusive partnership, as well as leading an event with the I LIKE NETWORKING team and mentors, and featuring our mentors on their DAY IN THE LIFE series.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY is also partnering with I LIKE NETWORKING and offering 25% discount to all applicants, as well as sharing free courses on career development.
I LIKE NETWORKING aims to run the mentoring & networking program at least twice a year. Due to COVID-19, the first program is free of charge.
I LIKE NETWORKING aims to become a content platform which provides support to professionals in the creative industries, with a newsletter and an ongoing masterclass series, which would provide the income to support the programme. Our longer-term vision is to become a hub and online platform for diverse talents across the world, working with companies and recruiters to access this network.