Hachette UK’s Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employee network, THRIVE, has partnered with the design teams in its trade divisions to launch a series of free portfolio sessions for designers and illustrators from BAME backgrounds. The sessions aim to help improve diversity in the creative industry and will continue for the rest of the year.
The programme, which opens for submissions on 28th September, will offer designers and illustrators the opportunity to meet with an in-house designer from one of Hachette UK’s trade divisions for a virtual one-to-one portfolio session, during which they will be offered feedback and guidance on their work.
As creatives from BAME backgrounds are significantly under-represented, the initiative by THRIVE aims to help connect Hachette UK to a more diverse pool of talent and forms part of a wider programme of diversity and inclusion initiatives known as Changing the Story.
The scheme is led by Ebyan Egal and Joelyn Rolston-Esdelle, co-leads of THRIVE, and Alice Duggan, Designer at Hachette UK, who commented: “We’re really excited to launch this initiative in partnership with the divisional design teams. We hope that the sessions will allow our design colleagues to offer advice and support to BAME creatives, whilst also engaging with them to better understand and break down the barriers they may have faced in the creative industry, particularly in book design.
“The need for more diversity within our industry is one of the reasons we exist as an employee network and we encourage anyone to apply for our scheme – regardless of what stage they are at in their career.”
To apply, candidates need to submit either a portfolio or up to six artworks to ThrivePortfolioSessions@hachette.co.uk with the email subject header ‘Portfolio Session submission’. Candidates must be over 18 and are welcome to enter at any stage of their career. No prior book design experience is required.