Creative Equals awards intern bursary to stem talent flow

Creative Equals, in partnership with D&AD New Blood, has awarded its £5,000 intern bursary to young creatives Megan Egan and Mary Johansen.

Egan (left) and Johansen (right)
Egan (left) and Johansen (right)

The bursary, designed to help kickstart their careers in addled, was judged by D&AD New Blood Award judges Kat Hahn, creative strategist at Facebook, and Simon Gill, chief creative officer at Isobar. Egan is currently studying at the School of Communication Arts, while Johansen is a junior freelancer on placement.

Egan is now able to accept her scholarship at the SCA, she said: "Working in the London advertising world has always seemed like an unattainable dream, especially as I do not have a university degree – I was always scared that no one would look twice at me," 

Johansen said the bursary will make life "just a little bit easier".

She added: "I’m from Norway and was considered an overseas student at my university in London, so my student debt is, well, ridiculous.

"I’m also disabled, and the support from Creative Equals means that I can finally afford things that make life just a little bit easier. I’ll do my best to inspire and help women and disabled people in the creative industry."

Bridging the funding gap

The advertising industry’s well documented diversity problem is exacerbated in the capital by the rising costs of living.

Paul Drake, foundation director at D&AD, says that many are facing financial challenges after graduating and the expense of renting in London is prohibitive. He adds: "It's amazing to see truly committed individuals investing in making real change to put creative talent on the ladder. We had 38 applicants for the fund this year, up from 16 last year. Being able to access financial support can make a creative career, and the simple answer to getting talent from low socio-economic backgrounds into the industry is to provide funding, particularly through the placement period."

Ali Hanan, chief executive of Creative Equals, says the industry loses about 40% of its young female creative talent on the placement period. She adds: "We hope that at least we can help two women grab this exciting career opportunity. We were blown away with the generosity of the industry."

Contributions to the fund came from Nicky Bullard, chief creative officer and chair of MRM Meteorite; Ash Benelow, founder of Brave; Kerry Glazer, chief executive of AAR and Wacl member; Iotech's Paul Wright; Isobar's Caroline Dean; Facebook; and The Cannt Festival (founded by Simon Gill and Laura Jordan Bambach, chief creative officer and co-founder of SheSays and former D&AD president).

Last year’s Intern Bursary recipient, Rebecca Rhoysn Petts-Davies, is working at Wunderman, having won a yellow Pencil and a Young Cannes Lion this year. She said: "I wouldn’t be where I am without this fund."