I am standing for the 2015 Board of Trustees Elections in the advertising category.
I started my working life as an army officer, I have a degree in applied mathematics, and I worked as a district supermarket manager for Aldi. I don't really fit many people's image of a creative person. But there again I don’t think there should be a particular image of a creative person. The more varied creative people are in our industry the more original the ideas we tend to generate. D&AD has always been about original thinking, and the best way to sustain this is through the diversity of those who contribute.
I believe passionately about diversity within advertising. I also believe our industry needs to do more to encourage unique people from different backgrounds to feed it with new, fresh, and sometimes strange, perspectives. Too often creative people are of a type, from privileged backgrounds that can afford the long periods of low pay and rejection. These people are very talented, but there are others whose talent is not being considered, who may not know that advertising is indeed a viable profession. When I left school I had no idea that an advertising industry even existed.
My hope is to make diversity the norm. One way I'd like to see this happen is with agencies providing a proper living wage to creative students on work placement. Only by doing this can we ensure that the less fortunate, but often the more diverse, will come to work in an industry that has so much need of them. I would also like to see D&AD promote the creative professions more to people who might not otherwise consider it. Only D&AD is this well placed to stimulate and enable diverse talent. When I started my career I poured over every single D&AD annual in the hope that I would pick up some of the magic in there. It inspired and served as an education for an awkward misfit.