Creative Equals, a U.K.-based nonprofit that helps drive diversity and inclusion within the creative industry, has made the jump to America with the launch of its "Creative Comeback" workforce re-entry program.
The boot camp-style effort, which kicks off first in New York City, is looking to have 100 creatives sign up to return to the industry after having left due to having children, a serious illness, caring responsibilities or disabilities.
Creative Comeback NYC is sponsored by Diageo, with D&AD serving as the curriculum partner and a number of agencies - including 72&Sunny, Anomaly, BBH, R/GA, TBWA, OLIVER, VICE and FIG - acting as event partners. Applications for the initiative are open until February 26, and the event will go from March 24 to April 6.
"The creative industry has to reflect the US audiences it serves. To be innovative, creative and profitable, we need to have a diverse set of voices at the table. This includes older people, given that 40 million people in the US are currently over 50," said Creative Equals Founder Ali Hanan in a statement.
According to a recent study by the U.S . Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, 36 percent of respondents think their age has prevented them from getting a job since turning 40, while 44 percent of employees reported that they or someone they knew has experienced age discrimination in the workplace.
In addition to helping creatives return to the workforce, Creative Comeback will look to close the gap in the creative sector related to gender, diversity and age. Still, only 29 percent of U.S. creative directors are women even though more than half of adland is made up of women.
Creative Comeback, which initially launched in London in 2019, will expand beyond the U.S. and U.K. this year to India, with the goal of helping 100 former creative employees in Mumbai re-enter the workforce.