Ryan Reynolds Announces Nonprofit To Make Creative Careers Accessible To All
By Mikelle Leow, 21 Jun 2022
Video screenshots via Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds has moved from being a brazen anti-hero in a red suit to uplifting the lives of creatives in underrepresented communities. As arguably the world’s most famous adman, he’s announced a nonprofit to boost creative careers for all, especially for those in minority groups.
The organization, called The Creative Ladder, will open up programs and services to students and up-and-coming creatives in the fields of marketing, advertising, design, and commercial production. In doing so, it hopes to lay the path for a more inclusive creative workforce in which less visible stories are finally heard.
The Creative Ladder will launch this fall, and will include a Creative Leadership Conference and a six-month Leadership Academy to teach budding creators essential management skills.
The nonprofit’s offerings won’t just extend to newbies in the industry, though. Those who are already in creative careers would be able to solidify their roles as The Creative Ladder will also make mentorship, leadership training, career development resources, and networking opportunities more accessible to them.
Reynolds will serve as a co-founder of the creative organization, alongside District of Clothing founder Dionna Dorsey Calloway and Adweek editor David Griner as his fellow co-founders; the latter will fill in the positions of CEO and Chief Content Officer respectively. Deloitte is a founding donor of the initiative, while Hilton has joined in as an early sponsor.
Living to its vision, The Creative Ladder comprises an inclusive board of directors hailing from Snap Inc., TBWA, The Martin Agency, VaynerMedia, and more.
In his announcement video, Reynolds gushes about his love of creating advertisements, which he likens to making “mini movies.” He goes on to name some of the jobs that bring these mini movies to life, from writers and designers to editors.
In a self-conducted study, Creative Ladder found that 78% of nonwhite creatives had been unaware their jobs even existed when they graduated from high school, with 69% still being left in the dark after graduating college. 92% of people of color in the creative industry also agreed that current recruiting practices are preventing the workforce from hiring diverse talents. The Creative Ladder says it hopes to knock down these barriers.
Reynolds explains in a news release that he’d been inspired to launch Creative Ladder after he and his wife Blake Lively started Group Effort Initiative, a similar nonprofit for the entertainment industry, in August 2020. “I love making ads and want to help make sure talent of all backgrounds have the access and information they need to succeed,” he continues.
“Ads are just another form of storytelling and a more representative workforce will only make this industry stronger and enable it to tell better stories,” Reynolds adds.
Calloway shares: “In our communities, there isn’t a talent deficit; there’s an opportunity deficit.”
For more details about The Creative Ladder, head here.
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