Leadership Programme to Shatter the Glass Ceiling in Creative and Experiential Industry

Award-winning creative agency Smyle recently announced the launch of a new leadership and career accelerator programme called ‘This Way Up’ for all women and non-binary employees. The initiative comes from a recognition of the existing gaps in relatable leadership for women within the creative and experiential industry and the urgency to address these disparities.

Designed to shatter the glass ceiling, ‘This Way Up’ is run in partnership with AllBright Alliance, a global collective of businesses and thought-leaders committed to creating unlimited possibilities for women’s careers through data and insights, development of leadership skills at every level, and a focus on gender equity for all.

29 Smyle female and non-binary employees will participate in the Career Accelerator course, designed to enhance career opportunities and teach leadership skills. The AllBright digital platform is also open to those not on the course, brimming with mentorships, events, and ongoing support.

‘This Way Up’ emerged from Smyle’s Springboard initiative, which encourages employees to pitch groundbreaking ideas to directors at the agency. Suggested by Smyle Strategist Sophie Hulf, who then worked in collaboration with Emma Gardner, Smyle’s Executive Design Director, to embark on a partnership with AllBright, renowned for their extensive leadership support.

The programme was announced on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023, originally to benefit 20 women and non-binary employees. However, the overwhelming quality and volume of applications led to offering places to all 29 applicants.

Today, as the programme begins, Emma Gardner reflects on its journey. “Every application confirmed that we’re moving in the right direction. Good luck to all the women involved; you’re the first of many more to come, paving the way for the many women who will follow. I can’t wait to see the ripple effect of ‘This Way Up’ across the industry.”

Keith O’Loughlin, Group CEO at Smyle, who took part in the application process, stated, “This is not just a programme. It’s a testament to our commitment to fostering inclusivity and diversity. We believe in empowering our female and non-binary talent, and we’re excited to see where ‘This Way Up’ takes our amazing employees, as well as the difference it can make to the agency.”

Ella Vize, Head of Academy and Learning Programmes and co-founder of AllBright Alliance, said, “AllBright is thrilled to welcome Smyle to Alliance. Seeing their commitment to empower, nurture, and elevate leadership skills among the incredible women at Smyle has been inspiring. I’m sure that together, we’ll be paving the way towards a more equal and equitable future for all.”

‘This Way Up’ will run two cohorts, one starting September 2023 and the second in January 2024. The partnership with AllBright will continue, with the opportunity for more women and non-binary employees to take part in the future.

Related posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.