Meet the Team: Megan Armstrong

Megan chats to us about her route into DE&I, how she's leading us to B Corp status, the best bit of advice that came from her dad, as well as her favourite podcasts & books...

Friday 1 September 2023
By Megan Armstrong

What do you do at Jelly?

I’m the Operations Manager for Jelly & Think Artfully largely for the UK office. I look after our systems, people & culture, outreach and sustainability efforts.

What was your route into working on Diversity & Inclusion?

I didn’t take a direct route in to DE&I, I’ve worked predominantly in facilitating, supporting roles with a passion for people which naturally led me here. I’ve always wanted to look out for people’s wellbeing as best I can and conversations here turned to how we can better ourselves as a company, for our company and we realised the necessity for this focus.

Part of your role this year has been guiding Jelly through the B Corp journey, how has the transition been & why it’s important to you and the wider industry?

It’s been an interesting one, WAY more work than I ever imagined but I’m so glad we’re doing it as it’s really opened up some important conversations. I think we realised early on how easy it could be just to introduce policies in the back end, but how that could really not even end up landing in the laps of your employees which presented a lot of questions for us around the authenticity of it all. Once we’d understood what exactly that meant for us and how these changes in policy and company culture were going to look practically, we went forward with the driving force being authenticity which has worked really well for us in shaping culture here at Jelly & Think Artfully. Thankfully (and I’m very proud to say so) we were already championing a lot of progressive, employee led practices in the company which allowed us really to just expand and solidify what we already had in place. For us, I think working towards becoming a B Corp has largely been about being held accountable both internally and externally, and looking to see where we can further progress in terms of our social responsibility.

What’s you favourite thing about working with our partners Clapton Girls Academy, WTC & ROK?

The students, they’re amazing and never fail to impress us with talent.

Also, it’s really lovely to see my colleagues take themselves out of their ‘9-5 duties’ and push themselves in a way that ultimately shows them how much they have to offer young people looking to break into the creative industry.

Best thing about being part of the Jelly Team?

I promise, nobody is getting paid to say this but.. the people. I work with the most talented, lovely group of people who don’t let their talent and ability get in the way of compassion and a want to better the industry we all love.

In our experience, every member of a team - even those without creative titles - has a creative ability of some kind. How does this show up for you? / how do you express yourself creatively?

I did a degree in Global Film & Media and originally started out in broadcast editing.. back when they still worked on tapes?!?! I’ve always loved film and that’s where my love still lies (LOTR till I die) but I realised so very quickly that I in fact, was not a creative. I have all of the interest but none of the imagination to conceptualise an idea so I found my role in facilitating the creative industry quite early on. My creativity these days comes out in my clothes I’d say, I do dabble in the odd ceramic making and I have a million plants.

If you could fix one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?

Access ! There’s a huge barrier for a lot of younger people in the UK to access the creative industry and more so than that, it’s not even really an option to consider for a lot of people which I’d love to see change. The change needed requires huge shifts in attitude and focus which isn’t an easy thing to do industry wide but it’s an essential one.

What advice would you give to people who don’t know how to get into the industry without any connections?

Get in touch, more and more companies are doing drop in sessions and opening up opportunities just to chat so I’d start there. As I said earlier though, access is still very much an issue so this is all and only if you have the means to do so.

If you don’t have the immediate means to do this yourself, speak to your school or college and ask them what initiatives or careers programmes they have in place. Use the resources around you as much as you can !

Your top 3 favourite Podcasts/Books? 

At the moment my podcasts are: Chattabix / Closet Confessions / The Infinite Monkey Cage

Favourite books: No Time for Goodbye (oldddd Linwood Barclay) / Natives (Akala) & I’m just starting Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

Any artists and/ or exhibitions worth looking up at the moment?

I’m hoping to get to see Dear Earth at the Hayward Gallery which is a bit of me, exploring our emotional and spiritual connection to the environment.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

I’m a big homebody outside of work, getting my money’s worth out of my rent?!

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?

I hope he doesn’t read this or I’ll be forever reminded of it, but my Dad told me a long time ago to believe in myself and trust my instincts. A simple bit of advice, but some that has stood me in really good stead when coming face on with sensitive issues.

Also…what’s for you won’t pass you by, I think that was my Dad too!

Megan Armstrong

Head of Culture & Systems