A Message From Our CEO – A Happy Start to 2024

It is now the start of the first full week of the year, which sees many people returning to work after the festive holidays. Some of you however, might have started last week. Whatever your situation, we hope that you have managed to relax, recoup and are re-energized for what we hope will be a fantastic year ahead.

Last year at PILAA we had seen much growth in the organisation, beyond monetary value. We welcomed new Membership clients, and we are pleased to see how those relationships have flourished, with Members such as Corps Security winning awards for their commitment to EDI excellence in their specific industry.

We had won tenders at organisations doing meaningful work for their communities of service users. Some of those tenders have now come to an end, but we are grateful to the lasting relationships that we have made with those organisations. Like many of our clients that we have worked with over the years, we will continue to be good friends and offer support when needed.

We welcomed new team members at PILAA, with strong backgrounds in their respective fields. Despite the challenges of recruiting new employees under this current climate, we are pleased to say that we were still able to get the best people to join us and grow our PILAA family.

At the end of last year, we were pleased to have participated at London’s ExCeL Retrain Expo, running alongside The Business Show 2023. We met lots of interesting people from various industries and we are excited to let you know that 2024 will see the materialisation of some of those conversations into exciting projects. So do watch this space. We are also excited to share the winners of the competition we held at the ExCeL for free training. All entrants will be informed of the outcome after this message has gone out.

Finally, in December we were pleased to be on the judging panel of the DOJ Gaminz Festival, held by our clients DOJ Gaminz in Nigeria. It was an awe-inspiring two-day event; the first with leading gamers in Nigeria and the second with game developers responding to the theme of ‘breaking stereotypes’ in their video game submissions. There was so much talent and innovation in this sector, and we are grateful to our friends at DOJ Gaminz, who have allowed us to be part of their EDI journey within the gaming arena.

Further, we were also fortunate to have been able to deliver our CPD Course ‘The Grassroots of Diversity’, to Security Officers at the event. It was great to see Officers engaging with many EDI themes, such as unconscious bias, providing inclusive welcomes, (dis)ability and accessibility, but applying it to the landscape of Nigeria. Doing EDI work in the UK has its own challenges, but tailoring EDI for it to be culturally specific to where our clients are based, brings new and exciting learning opportunities and we were grateful to be in such a position.

Whilst we know there is lots more to be thankful for and to do, our focus for this year is to build on being a forward-thinking organisation, addressing EDI within and beyond its own parameters. This year you will see input from expert thinkers on exciting new topics. You will see the development of our EDI image bank and A-Zs in various identity categories. You will see the development of new PILAA-led research and resources. We will continue to deliver our workshops unpacking EDI issues at their root causes, whilst learning about the various industries that we enter through our work with past, present and new clients. We will continue to answer your mental health, accessibility, and well-being questions, irrespective of whether they seem too big or too small. Finally, we will continue to be advocates of EDI and continue to collaborate with organisations and individuals who are committed to engaging with EDI in a socially conscious way.

From us at PILAA, we would like to wish you a happy start to the year and an inclusive future in 2024.

Dr Ope Lori

How to support employees and colleagues during the current conflict

You are likely to have Jewish and/or Muslim colleagues, who will have friends and relatives in Israel and Palestine, and who will be experiencing strong emotions about the current conflict in the Middle East. How can you best support them at this difficult time?

The most important thing to remember – whether for this conflict or any others – is that it’s better to say something than to ignore the situation. Don’t worry about getting it wrong; showing people you care and that you’re there is what matters.

  • Acknowledge the war. You could perhaps mention it in your weekly newsletter or in your next meeting. You don’t have to offer any opinions – and you probably shouldn’t – but just say you’re aware that it’s happening and that it could be impacting on colleagues. Remind them that you’re there if anyone wants to talk.
  • Write specific colleagues who you know have friends or family in the region or who belong to the affected ethnic groups an email or a text message that says something like, “I just wanted you to know I’m thinking of you at what might be a challenging time for you. You don’t need to reply, but I’m here if you need anything.”
  • Similarly, you can say something along those lines in a face-to-face conversation, but be careful not to pressure them into talking about it, if they’re not up to it. Avoid any nosy questions, as it isn’t your business to know if someone has relatives in the region. Make no assumptions about political views.
  • If people come to you to say they are struggling, consider whether you can reduce their workload or give them a personal day or two off.
  • Ensure you know what your workplace’s mental health policies are like and if there are any helplines or healthcare professionals that your colleagues can contact if necessary.
  • Consider whether your workplace can make a charitable donation to an organisation that is actively working towards peace in the Middle East. It can help people to know that a small, proactive step is being taken.
  • Try not to get into political discussions, especially in the workplace. You don’t want to sow any discord among colleagues. Make work a friendly, safe space. Set up guidelines for conversation, if you feel that would be helpful.
  • Take care of yourself too. Even if you’re not Jewish or Muslim and even if you don’t fully understand the situation, it can still be painful to keep up with the news. It’s okay, and often necessary, to take a break from reading or watching the latest updates.
  • If you are asked to facilitate a conversation on the topic and you don’t feel able to, it’s okay to say no.
  • Remind everyone that a little kindness goes a long way; the world is hard, and your workplace doesn’t need to make it any harder.

Life goes on, even amidst such depressing conflicts. People need to keep working, and sometimes even find it helpful to keep their heads busy. At the same time, though, we’re humans with feelings, so show awareness of what’s going on, and how it might be affecting people.

 

The Team at PILAA

Research Associate Vacancies

PILAA Research Associate (Consultant) Vacancy – Disability, accessibility neurodiversity and mental health

We are looking for PILAA personalities to become part of our growing family of PILAA Research Associates. Are you an expert or have relevant experience in Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion themes, but specifically on disability, accessibility neurodiversity and mental health and well-being.

Do you have what it takes to educate and inspire others in a fun and creative way, utilising PILAA’s key values which embody FOCUS (Fun, Open-mindedness, Creativity, understanding, Sincerity)?

If you want to make a difference to people’s and businesses lives, through action and learning and if you think you have what it takes to become a PILAA personality, we would love to hear from you.

Key Responsibilities

  • Delivering and facilitating training on EDI related topics, specialising in disability, accessibility neurodiversity and mental health and well-being, or multiple is desirable and also, at the intersections
  • Offering consultancy to clients from various industries and being able to adapt expertise or training to tailor that industry
  • Facilitating bespoke conversations on EDI, especially with new narratives and ways of thinking, that are not typically discussed within the EDI landscape and as they relate to the subject of this role
  • Creating bespoke training in accordance with clients’ needs and under guidance and support from PILAA Account Director
  • Be part of the thinking behind our visual campaigns, newsletters, quarterly resource guides, and developing monthly webinars and Q&A’s related to the subject of this role

Key Person Specifications

  • The ability to inspire others, utilising strong presentation skills
  • Strong research background or relevant experience in chosen field(s) of expertise (PhD level or relevant would be advantageous)
  • Strong or growing public profile or the desire in working towards this
  • Someone who can see all sides of the argument
  • Creative approach, storyteller, fun facilitator of training
  • Creative, visual, artistic, performative, background which can be applied to EDI would be advantageous
  • Can demonstrate embodying PILAA’s 5 values: FOCUS (Fun, Open-Mindedness, Creativity, Understanding and Sincerity
  • Can adapt EDI training to multiple industries and tailor material accordingly
  • Someone who genuinely wants to make a difference and has the patience and resilience to do so
  • Someone who is interested in human behaviour and improving organisational workplace cultures
  • Forward thinkers, innovative thinkers, compassionate thinkers, creative thinkers
  • Good knowledge of EDI themes, anti-discriminatory laws, policies and awareness of the 9 protected characteristics under the 2010 Equality Act, as well as catering to new knowledge in around these areas

Salary – Consultancy day rates and training rates apply

How to apply

If interested please send a CV, along with a 500-word statement or thereabouts (by text, audio, video, or any other alternative way) on why you want to be a PILAA personality, addressing the points mentioned in the job vacancy.

Send to info@pilaa.co.uk

In email subject heading add: PILAA Research Associate Vacancy – Disability, Mental Health, Neurodiversity, Well Being

Deadline – Open until Tuesday 5pm on the 9th of May 2023.

We welcome anyone to apply, from all walks of life, from all backgrounds as long as you want to make a difference. Our roles are open to all!

PILAA Research Associate (Consultant) Vacancy 

We are looking for PILAA personalities to become part of our growing family of PILAA Research Associates. Are you an expert or have relevant experience in Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion themes, whether that’s on race, gender and sex, disability, neurodiversity, age, class, the psychology of human behaviour, facilitating difficult dialogues, inclusive leadership, policy and advocacy or any other topic not mentioned above or typically not talked about?

Do you have what it takes to educate and inspire others in a fun and creative way, utilising PILAA’s key values which embody FOCUS (Fun, Open-mindedness, Creativity, understanding, Sincerity)?

If you want to make a difference to people’s and businesses lives, through action and learning and if you think you have what it takes to become a PILAA personality, we would love to hear from you.

Key Responsibilities

  • Delivering and facilitating training on EDI related topics, specialising either in a particular area, as listed above or multiple is desirable and also, at the intersections
  • Offering consultancy to clients from various industries and being able to adapt expertise or training to tailor that industry
  • Facilitating bespoke conversations on EDI, especially with new narratives and ways of thinking, that are not typically discussed within the EDI landscape and as they relate to the subject of this role
  • Creating bespoke training in accordance with clients’ needs and under guidance and support from PILAA Account Director
  • Be part of the thinking behind our visual campaigns, newsletters, quarterly resource guides, and developing monthly webinars and Q&A’s related to the subject of this role

Key Person Specifications

  • The ability to inspire others, utilising strong presentation skills
  • Strong research background or relevant experience in chosen field(s) of expertise (PhD level or relevant would be advantageous)
  • Strong or growing public profile or the desire in working towards this
  • Someone who can see all sides of the argument
  • Creative approach, storyteller, fun facilitator of training
  • Creative, visual, artistic, performative, background which can be applied to EDI would be advantageous
  • Can demonstrate embodying PILAA’s 5 values: FOCUS (Fun, Open-Mindedness, Creativity, Understanding and Sincerity
  • Can adapt EDI training to multiple industries and tailor material accordingly
  • Someone who genuinely wants to make a difference and has the patience and resilience to do so
  • Someone who is interested in human behaviour and improving organisational workplace cultures
  • Forward thinkers, innovative thinkers, compassionate thinkers, creative thinkers
  • Good knowledge of EDI themes, anti-discriminatory laws, policies and awareness of the 9 protected characteristics under the 2010 Equality Act, as well as catering to new knowledge in around these areas

Salary – Consultancy day rates and training rates apply

How to apply

If interested please send a CV, along with a 500-word statement or thereabouts (by text, audio, video, or any other alternative way) on why you want to be a PILAA personality, addressing the points mentioned in the job vacancy.

Send to info@pilaa.co.uk

In email subject heading add: PILAA Research Associate Vacancy – Open

Deadline – Open until Tuesday 5pm on the 9th of May 2023.

We welcome anyone to apply, from all walks of life, from all backgrounds as long as you want to make a difference. Our roles are open to all!

Welcome to Dawn Woolley

We are pleased to announce that joining PILAA’s creative leg of the business, is the acclaimed British artist, Dawn Woolley. Woolley’s artistic practice encompasses performance, photography, video, and installation, blurring the boundary between self-portraiture and still-life. In Woolley’s practice, described as a feminist critique, she examines her experiences as a neoliberal subject in contemporary consumer culture and the processes of constructing ideal gendered bodies through a queer, feminist and anti-capitalist lens.

This began with an examination of naturalized gender performance and idealized representations of femininity in early works such as The Substitute (Holiday), 2007-8. In her still-life work, she attempts to describe the idealized, gendered, ageing body through commodities. She also creates public domain interventions in physical commercial advertising spaces in cities and in virtual ones, on online social networking sites.

Dawn is also a research fellow, with an active profile. She is the solo author of “Consuming the Body: Capitalism, Social Media and Commodification”, published in 2022 by Bloomsbury and other recent publications include: “The Quantified Self, The Ideology of Health and Fat”, in The Body Productive, London: Bloomsbury, 2023; and “The Dissecting Gaze: Fashioned Bodies on Social Networking Sites”, in Revisiting the Gaze: Feminism, Fashion and the Female Body, (London: Bloomsbury, 2020).

As part of the PILAA team, she will be lending her artistic craft to our EDI campaigns, making her the perfect PILAA Artist to work with on all projects and briefs dealing with gender, consumer culture, still life and self-portraiture.

Dawn Woolley, Wonderland, 2015, Blueback Print, 300cm x 600cm   

Dawn Woolley, The Substitute (Holiday), 2007-8, C-type photograph, 100cm x 100cm 

For members, look out for her work in your monthly EDI calendar and yearly subscription of images. For non-members or anyone looking to work with Dawn on your next EDI social justice campaign, or advertising ad, get in contact with us to see how we can help.

Our new Partnership with Corps Together

We are pleased to announce PILAA’s partnership with Corps Together, our new PILAA Friend.

Corps Together is an award-winning ED&I Initiative run for, and by, Colleagues & Guardians (a group of passionate individuals who have volunteered to champion EDI) at Corps Security, the Social Enterprise established in 1859 and specialist security service provider. As the only major Social Enterprise in the sector, they provide ‘security with social value.’

They are inspired by the voices of the colleagues, and more specifically, of the multitude of voices that are contained within their sites and teams nationally and internationally.

Working with them, we have already begun bringing together our strategy and objectives for 2023. We are very excited to further enhance the work already being done through Corps Together and the wider Corps Security organisation, as they continue to connect with their colleagues and celebrate the communities they serve, which is at the centre of everything they do!!!

PILAA designs new artwork for DOJ Gaminz at Lagos Comic Con 2022

Last month PILAA attended the 10th Lagos Comic Convention in Nigeria, having been commissioned by our clients DOJ Gaminz to design the artwork for their exhibition space, as the proud sponsors of the VVIP Lounge. 

 

Since working with DOJ Gaminz to deliver EDI training, we have learnt more about this company and what it stands for. For Lagos Comicon and leading up to it, they put on a range of activities, which reflect their values in developing the local within the global. They held a creative arts competition where they gave the opportunity for a lucky winner to design an avatar that would represent them and would then be showcased at Lagos ComiCon. Similarly, they carried out another creative arts competition that would see a lucky winner make a jingle to represent their brand, which was to be equally showcased at the festival. 

We knew that they take a holistic approach within the e-gaming landscape, which was reflected in their brief question, “what makes the perfect gamer?” We responded to their question, by telling the stories of Naay Akinade and Peter Olatunji, two young people who recalled their experiences with gaming. We then created two 50 second video ads to reflect both stories and print work for their exhibition space, utilising their brand tagline “amplify your experience.” 

Naay Akinade’s story

Peter Olatunji’s story

We look forward to continuing our work with DOJ Gaminz on their journey with EDI in the Esports landscape.

 

 

Our new client GamCare

We are pleased to announce that we are now working with our new client GamCare, the leading provider of information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling harms.

GamCare was founded in 1997 by Paul Bellringer and recently celebrated its 25 years anniversary. It is a unique organisation that brings together creating awareness around safer gambling, treatment to this form of addiction and the support for its affected others.

Supporting them is both exciting and refreshing, as we delve into a relatively new landscape and learn more about this area. Our task looks to build on their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) work to date and help support them strategically in achieving their inclusion aims over the coming years.

To find out more information about GamCare and to follow their work on EDI in the coming months, please visit here.

Welcome to Akiko Takizawa

We are pleased to announce that joining PILAA’s creative leg of the business, is the acclaimed London based Japanese photographer, Akiko Takizawa. Takizawa’s body of work has taken on many themes, which include: home, family, a sense of loss, displacement, death and the afterlife, and what it means to live in the modern world. The majority of her work also focuses on her home country, where Japanese culture and traditions feature strongly.

Takizawa’s recent craftswomanship also centers around the 150-year-old Collotype printing process, which originated in France, but has now been all but discontinued on a worldwide level. In 2014 she received the prestigious 2014 Prix HSBC pour la Photographie and has continued to show nationally and internationally.

As part of the PILAA team, she will be lending her craft to our EDI campaigns. In particular she takes part in advocacy work in helping to break the cycle of homelessness, challenging violence towards women and girls, and unpacking interconnected forms of oppression and social justice work. As she told us, it’s because I’ve often felt excluded, that I’ve made work with the desire to belong. 

 

Headland #2, Gelatine silver print, 2007. 

Wedding up in Heaven #5, (2011) 

For members, look out for her work in your monthly EDI calendar and yearly subscription of images. For non-members or anyone looking to work with Akiko on your next EDI social justice campaign, get in contact with us to see how we can help.

A Message From Our CEO

Welcome to the launch of our new website which marks a turning point for our organisation. Pre-image Learning and Action (PILAA) was conceived as an idea back in 2015. Our hope was that we would be a company that could tie in making a difference to organisations and the people we work with, by using the visual arts to unlock the bigger picture. We never imagined the impact that a combination of these two factors would have upon people’s everyday lives. 

From working with our earliest clients, we could see that there was a need for employers to support their staff and navigate through difficult conversations around common equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) themes, as well as those not typically talked about. Our clients knew what they wanted to do but didn’t know how to do it. They were nervous in getting it wrong, yet just needed that little bit of expert support to help them lead the way. By having  an open and honest friendly conversation with them, we managed to understand their challenges and the context in which they operated in. Fast-forward to today, these relationships have helped to build on who we are and what we do. PILAA prides itself as an organisation that genuinely wants to make a difference to everyone we work with, hence why most of the people that we serve have found us organically, through word-of-mouth recommendations. 

Joining us on our mission to make a difference to the EDI community, we are excited to announce that we have expanded our team of experts. In addition, we also wanted to take this opportunity, to let you know of our PILAA Friend Memberships, which we launched in May 2022. 

From us, you can expect everything we do to follow our five key values, which are embodied through the acronym FOCUS: Fun, Open-Mindedness, Creativity, Understanding and Sincerity. If you are reading this and have signed up to our newsletter, then this is your first step to being part of the PILAA ecosystem.

Dr Ope Lori