According to the latest 2023 Stats SA report, South Africa’s youth unemployment rate is a staggering 62.1%. In addition, 47% of females who are of working age are listed as ‘economically inactive.’
While industries across the country vary in the representation of their female workforce, only 38% of those employed in the creative industries are women, according to a 2019 research study published by North-West University.
SheSays, an action-based global advocacy group for women in the creative industry, aims to change that by hosting events and mentorship programmes for women to network, grow and flourish in their careers.
Seeking a strategic partner to amplify one of the initiatives tailored towards young female students and graduates, SheSays Jhb has joined hands with award-winning creative agency GRID Worldwide for ‘Mentorship Moments.’
As the Make It Mean Something Company, GRID Worldwide builds brands by giving them meaning. The agency is known for its work with some of South Africa’s most iconic brands, such as FNB, MTN, the Marble Group and more. Driven by purpose, GRID is excited to invest in meaningful mentorship by providing an additional platform to elevate and empower women entering the industry.
In the lead up to Women’s Month, GRID takes on the role of an enablement partner, working closely with SheSays to run the Mentorship Moments programme. This programme is open to any final-year students and recent graduates within the greater Gauteng region.
Whether interested in graphic design, copywriting, brand strategy, public relations, account management, or seeking to enter the creative economy, applicants from Gauteng are encouraged to submit a piece of work they are most proud of, along with a letter of motivation as to why they would like to be considered.
Selected applicants will be given the opportunity to be mentored by some of the best minds in the industry during a workshop on 8 August. The half-day session will close with a 608 Experiences (a division of GRID Worldwide) networking event whereby mentees will be introduced to the exciting world of branding and creativity.
SheSays and GRID are calling on all eligible applicants to submit their entries before the closing date of 31 July 2023.
“With a shared goal of empowering women and advancing gender equality in our industry, we as ‘The Make It Mean Something Company’ look forward to amplifying the impact of this important initiative,” says Jessica Wilkins, Client Service Director at GRID Worldwide.
“In everything that we do as a business, our goal is to build, nurture and create meaning. Mentorship Moments is not a ‘nice to do’ initiative – it is something that all private enterprises should be doing, not only to provide opportunities for growth in the industry but to reduce the enormous wave of young people who have given up on contributing to our economy, or the hope that they can have in our country.”
There is much to be gained by building strong foundations for those wishing to enter the creative space. As intellectual property is the key resource of anyone in the industry, creativity sparks innovation, and innovation fosters growth and opportunity.
Tackling challenges faced by women in the industry means that SheSays and its partners play a pivotal role in empowering women to build sustainable careers and the creative economy.
“Initiatives like Mentorship Moments are crucial to addressing the challenges faced by women in the creative fields,” state Andrina Moodley and Mandisa Ngubane, Co-Directors of SheSays Jhb.
“While some progress has been made, there is still much work to be done. A deeper understanding of the specific obstacles women encounter is needed, enabling agencies to implement tangible measures for creating a more inclusive and supportive environment and contributing to a more equitable creative industry.”
Applications to Mentorship Moments are now open and can be submitted via email@example.com. The closing date for entries is 31 July 2023.