Creative recruiter's death honoured with diversity scholarship fund

Holly Hunter: aspiring creative one of first to benefit from new scholarship
Holly Hunter: aspiring creative one of first to benefit from new scholarship

Major Players, the creative and marketing recruitment agency, is commemorating the death of its former managing director in an initiative to boost diversity in the ad industry.

Helen Stokes died aged 43 last month and was described by her company chairman, Jack Gratton, as one of "recruitment’s brightest stars". 

Now the recruitment company is collaborating with D&AD and not-for-profit organisation Creative Equals to set up the Helen Stokes Intern Scholarship, which will be available to talented young women from poorer backgrounds.

Ali Hanan, the founder of Creative Equals, said just 14 per cent of creative directors at ad agencies are women, which means 88 per cent of young female creatives say they have no role models.

She said: "With more work through a female lens, Creative Equals believes we can create more effective work, better connect with this powerful force of consumers and become more culturally relevant as an industry."

One of the first beneficiaries of the scheme is Holly Hunter, who will receive sponsored training. 

Paul Drake, the foundation director at D&AD, said: "Addressing the gender imbalance in the creative industries is something that is on everyone's minds. But there is a difference between thinking and doing. Campaigning towards a fairer, more diverse industry is something that D&AD strongly believes in and this is reflected in many of the Foundation's programmes that tackle these issues head on.  

"We were extremely saddened to hear of Helen's passing, but we are grateful for the opportunity to help ensure her legacy lives on. This will be achieved through an internship scholarship that will be offered to a female creative who has come through a D&AD education programme and requires financial help to reach their potential."

Creative Equals has set up a Just Giving page for voluntary donations to support the scheme.


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