Culture Heroes

A UK based initiative with the mission to create and support the next generation of BAME leadership, across the creative industries of Advertising, Design, Technology. Find out more here

Who/ What are we:
A UK based initiative with the mission to create and support the next generation of BAME leadership, across the creative industries of Advertising, Design, Technology 
How we do it:
Partnering with Trade Bodies and other D&I organisations to drive sustainable long-term change within the industry for BAME talent 
Providing a network to connect future and current BAME leadership across the creative industries 
Partnering with Trade Bodies and Awards Bodies to ensure greater BAME representation within councils, juries, working groups and committees. 
Showcasing and developing BAME leadership role-models
Mentoring for future BAME leaders
‘Sponsorship’ for future BAME leaders
 BAME Leadership Programmes
Cultural Change – helping organisations improve their BAME talent retention, progression and leadership representation through effective D&I strategies.
Read our interview with founder Ete Davies.
How and why did you come up with the idea of creating CultureHeroes?

I founded WeAreStripes to address the lack of BAME talent within the creative industries and to get more entry-level talent aware of our industry and keen to explore careers within it. Whilst doing this, I realised that unless there was greater BAME representation in positions of leadership and influence, it would be difficult to effect long-term strategic and sustainable change towards a more inclusive environment. That’s why I created CultureHeroes – to create and support the next generation of BAME leadership, across the creative industries.

-How can people contribute to the project or participate?

We’re constantly looking for collaborators, partners and supporters. There are a number of  ‘pillars’ to what we do, that people can contribute to, or participate with:

Mentoring and Sponsorship – we’re always seeking BAME role models, mentors or sponsors, who are in senior, or leadership roles, that would be keen to act as sponsors or mentors for our mentees. In fact, you don’t need to be BAME to be a mentor or sponsor, just have the right level of experience and a passion to support the next generation of BAME leadership.

Mentees – If you’re BAME talent, either in or about to move into a leadership role; or you know of someone who is, then our mentoring programme provides support, guidance and advice, with a variety of highly experienced and engaged leaders.

Community – if you’re a trade body or organisation that has an objective to help create a more diverse and inclusive industry, then there are a few ways we would collaborate; From making sure you have the right level of BAME representation in our leadership teams, awards juries councils and workings groups, to providing anti-bias and culture hacking workshops, that can support organisational change.

Company – we support the strategic and cultural changes that are needed to improve their BAME talent retention, progression and leadership representation.

-What are your plans for the future?

The goal for CultureHeroes is 25% senior leadership representation by 2025, with fair equity and compensation. We’re going to keep pushing on our workstreams and initiatives with the aim of achieving that.  

-Regarding your creative leadership, what methods or tips do you use to encourage the people that work with you?

I’m a strong advocate of looking outside of your field of expertise (be it sector, practice, discipline or industry), to find insight and inspiration to help with creative problem solving and I encourage all our teams to do the same. From an agency point of view, a key part of this is having an inclusive and collaborative culture that encourages everyone to contribute and be curious about the potential contribution of others.  

-In your Bio on your agency website you say the piece of technology you don’t miss are: “Pagers/beepers. If you grew up in a house full of doctors, you’d understand.”

What is your favourite piece of technology today?

My Amazon Echo or iPhone, I’m excited to see the potential 5G unlocks for the latter.

-Have you already thought what you want your legacy to be? Or how you would like people to remember you?

Not really, I’m too focused on just trying to make great work and a better industry. It would be nice to be remembered as someone who delivered a ‘positive change’.

-Do you have a favourite quote, slogan or motto?

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” (Nelson Mandela).

Gerety Awards

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