Who is The Other Box?
The Other Box is an award-winning platform, enlightening and empowering people to work and live more inclusively.
It was founded by Leyya and Roshni – two brown, female, state-school educated second/third generation immigrants from working class backgrounds, who happen to be creatives in design and advertising.
They’ve combined their lived experience of everyday exclusion and tokenism with academic knowledge of race, racism and radical histories of colonialism to challenge the lack of diversity within the creative industries.
As well as running workshops within agencies, they’re regularly invited to sit on panels, radio and TV shows for the likes of BBC, Huffington Post and WGSN and also tailor events to discuss issues around diversity, identity, racism and more.
About Leyya, Co-Founder
I have always been a creative person and knew that it was this industry I wanted ‘grow up’ and be in (helped by my obsession of being the next Wilhelmina Slater from Ugly Betty). While my mum was always encouraging of this, my Grandad’s response when I chose my A-Levels was: ‘No science? No maths?’. I know I wasn’t alone in that absence of support from my elders.
Fast forward seven years, moving from Manchester to London, a graphic design degree under my belt, my dream job in the industry, and a growing need to make a difference...I noticed that ‘diversity’ is talked about a lot, but often only in relation to gender. There’s still something missing on panels – women of colour. We need to work harder to achieve true equality and diversity in the work place, because we all benefit from it.
I have been recognised as Bima's Top 100 in Digital, Creative Equals 'Women to Watch' in association with Campaign, Winner of the We Are The City Diversity award and The Dots 'Top 200 people shaping the industry'. I'm a super busy bee - proved by my current roles...
I am also available for public speaking and have recently spoken at events and on the air for BBC Asian Network, BBC Three, Radar Radio, Badass Women's Hour, Huffington Post, Diversity in Media and Advertising Summit, UAL, Soho House, SocialFixt, General Assembly, She Says, Skinnydip London and more.
About Roshni, Co-Founder
As a freelancer, I’ve walked through the doors of countless agencies to discover I’m the only person of colour on the creative team, and sometimes in the entire office. When I started digging deeper, I found that judging panels for big-time industry awards, and line-ups for premium ticketed events were also lacking something. They were all white and all somehow still okay with that.
In a city like London, celebrated for its diversity, creative teams are still excluding people like me, people of colour. This lack of visibility and representation is a self-perpetuating problem.
It's high time we broke that cycle.
Awards and Accolades
Finalist for the WOW (Women of the world festival) Southbank Centre 'Breaking new ground' award
Bima's Top 100 in Digital
Creative Equals 'Women to Watch'
Winner of the We Are The City Diversity award
Finalist for Major Players - Major Influencer Campaign award
Finalist for Major Players - Major Diversity Champion award
Follow us on Instagram/Twitter: @_TheOtherBox
Header image courtesy of: @BombayNotMumbai