Careers

How this social enterprise is diversifying the creative industries

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Hannah Keegan
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Anoushka Dossa, director of Talent Creative Access

Work/Life is Stylist’s regular column about the professional routines of successful women. Here, director of talent, Anoushka Dossa, takes us through her one-day diary, from morning latte to lights-out.   

Anoushka Dossa, 44, is director of talent at Creative Access, a social enterprise supporting BAME people in creative industries. She lives in London with her son.

MY ALARM GOES OFF…

Around 6.30am, when my little boy clambers into bed for a snuggle. He loves I Spy right now, so we regularly play that. I try not to be on my phone too much around him, but I’ll peek at emails. No matter how early I get up, it’s a mad dash to get him to school. I make him an omelette and shovel whatever I can down my throat – most likely toast. I’ll wear something comfy like a thick knit, jeans and boots.

MY COMMUTE IS…

Not too bad. I walk my son to school then walk to the station listening to classical music or old-school R&B, depending on my mood. I’m lucky enough to usually get a seat on the train and I use that time for emails.

I’M RESPONSIBLE FOR…

Running recruitment at Creative Access, where we place entry-level candidates from under-represented groups into the creative industries.

Leaflets from social enterprise creative access.
She is often dashing between meetings talks and interviews.

I GOT THE JOB…

By applying. I studied law at university and went on to work in legal recruitment. I discovered howmmuch I loved connecting skills and seeing people develop, which allowed me to move from the corporate world to the creative one when the role at Creative Access came up in 2013. It felt like the perfect fit.

MY TYPICAL DAY…

Starts with a team meeting. No two days are the same. I could be running a panel, interviewing trainees or meeting with clients to talk about diversity, unconscious bias and recruitment strategies. We then begin recruitment. There can be 500 applications for one position – I’ll often go through them in the evenings. When it comes to interview, I’ll invite candidates in for an assessment and share interview techniques to make sure their face time with a client is strong. I do this myself because meeting young people is where I’m most passionate. 

I don’t stop for lunch, usually someone will get something for me. I love a falafel salad. In the afternoon I could be at a university; I bring alumni to talk about their journey in a particular industry. I leave work about 5pm.

WHEN I’M TIRED OR STRESSED I…

Walk away, get some air and come back with fresh eyes.

Leaflets for Creative access social enterprise
Alumni have secured jobs at Hrper Collins, ITV and The National Theatre.

MY GO-TO SNACK AT WORK IS…

Smoked almonds. There are bags of them on my desk right now.

MY MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT…

Happens every time we run masterclasses with our alumni. I get to see people succeeding and know I’ve been instrumental in that, which is so rewarding.

MY WORST WORK HABIT IS…

Always running late for meetings. And in internal ones I’m often answering emails. I’ll say, “I’m not unengaged. I’m multitasking!”

MY EMAIL INBOX…

Is organised. I reply and then file emails away into each client’s folder. I can’t rest if I haven’t.

AFTER WORK…

I pick up my son. Every day, I ask him about a kind thing he did for someone or someone did for him. It’s therapeutic. I’m lucky enough to have my parents living nearby and they’ll often cook food, like dahl or salmon, for me to pick up on my way home. My son goes to bed at 7.30pm and then I might watch The Crown. I’m asleep by 11.30pm.

My Plan B: doesn’t exist

There are so many things I like the idea of, but if you spend too much thinking about those things then you won’t focus on what you’re doing right now. So I’m really content. What I do is the be-all and end-all for me.

Images: Holly McGlynn

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Hannah Keegan

Hannah Keegan is the features writer at Stylist magazine.

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