In celebration of International Women’s Day, we asked our design director, Stacey Charlesworth to share her biggest career inspirations as well as her advice for women considering a career in creative subjects.
I discovered my love of art at an early age but had little understanding of the careers available to me. But luckily, I had an art teacher – Mrs. Utley – who spotted this and encouraged me to pursue my career, supporting me through my A Levels as well as university, educating me on the different career options available to me and attending many of my design shows. Without a doubt she is one of my biggest inspirations and if it wasn’t for her, I simply wouldn’t be where I am today.
After university I moved to London to pursue my career, and since then I have been lucky enough to meet many inspirational women who have inspired me throughout career but one who stands out was a Director of an architectural practice, who offered me my first job when I moved to London. She really took me under her wing and mentored me throughout my early career – we became great friends. In terms of designers, I absolutely adore Dame Zaha Hadid. Her work and career are both truly inspirational – and she has a strong, confident character which I love!
The one thing that really frustrates me is the lack of information for young people who are interested in pursuing creative careers. There are so many great careers available for people who are good at, and enjoy, creative subjects but there still seems to be little knowledge and support for this at school level (in my experience!).
For most a career will last 40+ years, so I’d encourage young people to make wise choices, pick something you enjoy and work hard to make it your career. It’s really important to find people who will support and mentor you, who believe in you and will give you a pat on the back along the way – I wouldn’t be where I am today without the guidance from my teachers and advice from colleagues I’ve met along the way.