Bristol’s creative sector urged to truly represent the city’s rich cultural diversity

October 20, 2014

A social enterprise with a mission to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in Bristol’s burgeoning creative sector has been launched.

Represent has been set up by Joanna Randall, who runs Bristol PR agency Purplefish, and Liz Gadd, a recruiter in the creative sector in the South West, to raise awareness of careers in the creative sector including advertising, public relations, design, digital, gaming and social media.

Represent has already gained the support of the city’s key media organisations including Bristol Business News, Ujima Radio, Bristol 24/7, Bristol Media and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Bristol’s creative sector employs 15,900 people and is vital to the prosperity of the city. Yet despite Bristol boasting a rich cultural diversity, its creative businesses do not reflect this. 

Represent believes that, with British culture changing at a rapid pace, the creative sector needs to maintain relevance by being proactive in raising awareness and promoting opportunities for people from a range of backgrounds, ethnicities, sexuality, gender, age and religion.

It will enlist support and participation from creative businesses across the city as well as targeting schools, colleges, charities and community organisations to raise awareness of careers in the creative sectors.

It has set clear targets for its first 12 months as it aims to demonstrate a tangible change and wider representation of diverse groups. These will be based on four key areas of focus:

  • Education – to promote creative careers to schools and organisations representing sectors of society currently underrepresented in creative businesses
  • Training – offer equality and diversity training to agencies, creative businesses and in-house teams based in Bristol 
  • Recruitment – to assist creative businesses with their recruitment policies and to help create more diverse workforces in the city 
  • Awareness – to promote issues surrounding equality, diversity and inclusion and to encourage greater awareness of and use of diversity in marketing campaigns

Joanna Randall said: “Diversity is an often-discussed issue in the creative world. However, the challenge is to actually make some tangible changes. We’re committed to showing that changes can be made and will be working hard to put in place initiatives which benefit the city’s creative industries while creating opportunities for people who, through a lack of awareness, may not have previously considered careers in the creative sector.

Pictured, from left: Joanna Randall and Liz Gadd

“Represent will also seek to influence the output of creative businesses beyond changing the diverse make-up of the creative workforce. It’s important that diversity is also tackled through campaigns and in the work that Bristol businesses produce, whether that’s in advertising campaigns, generating imagery that is representative of UK culture or in targeting diverse media. There’s much work to be done but we truly believe that Represent as a stand-alone entity can really make a difference.”

Bristol Business News is proud to be a founding supporter of Represent and shares its aims and objectives.

For more information and to get involved go to or contact: /


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