CAKE: Choose to challenge gender bias in the creative industry


Date: Thursday 11 March 2021
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Online
Event type: Creative Fuse: CAKE

In support of International Women’s Day, the next CaKE event will focus on the topic of gender bias. In line with the IWD 2021 theme ‘Choose to Challenge’ we’ll be taking a deep dive into how individuals and organisations in the region’s creative industries are choosing to challenge gender bias.

This time, we’re switching up the event format to include a panel discussion with inspirational speakers from across the region, followed by an opportunity to take part in breakout peer conversations before re-grouping to feedback and ask any questions. Together we will:

  • Discuss ways to move towards a gender equal industry sector
  • Raising awareness against bias
  • Question stereotypes
  • Share ideas on how we can all help to create an inclusive world, in business and beyond

Chairing the panel, we have Sharon Paterson (Associate Dean at MIMA School of Art and Design at Teesside University and Associate Director of MIMA). Sharon leads the Creative Fuse North East Project for Teesside University and is currently working as part of the Tees Valley Combined Authority Culture and Visitor Economy Task Force which has been established to support the sector through the pandemic.

Meet the panellists:

Hannah Matterson, CEO, Generator North East

Hannah Matterson is the CEO of Generator North East – a music and digital business support agency, working to develop the creative industries across the North East and to strengthen the music industry in the region by supporting artists in their careers. She is also a director of We Make Culture, an arts participation organisation which delivers music projects across the North East to promote community and wellbeing through music.

She has worked with businesses in all sectors, promoting innovation and collaborative partnerships, through her role at Manchester Metropolitan University, and now works with the music and creative digital sector in the North East through Generator’s Digital Union network and Tipping Point Talent Development programme. She was part of the team who worked to deliver Sunderland’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid and the redevelopment of a cultural quarter in Sunderland. Hannah is currently the lead governor for employment and industry at Sunderland College. She has developed and delivered festivals in music, creative writing and short film and has a wealth of experience in fundraising and business development. She is particularly interested in partnerships between the creative and cultural industries and other sectors. 

Laura Sillars, Director, MIMA

Since starting at Teesside University in 2018, Laura has held a leadership role in the establishment of the MIMA School of Art and Design, Borderlands, a £2.9m Creative People and Places project for Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and the Middlesbrough Cultural Partnership. The school brings together art and creative industry courses with a focus on employability, transferable skills and global, creative perspectives. MIMA is a catalytic, creative hub for the sector, the school, the region and Teesside University. Laura oversees the work of the gallery in creative collaboration with Head of Programmes, Elinor Morgan.

Laura’s previous roles include Programme Director at Foundation for Art and Creative Technology and Curator of Public Programmes at Tate Gallery, Liverpool and Co-Director, Site Gallery. In the last five years, Laura has served on the boards of Engage, FutureEverything, Workplace and the Advisory Board of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She completed a Core Leadership Fellowship (2008) and is a Leverhulme scholar at Durham University’s Centre for Visual Arts and Culture.

Ila Mehrotra, Assistant Producer / Journalist

Ila is a passionate, self-shooting assistant producer / journalist that has worked in British film and television for the last decade. Since graduating from the University of Sussex, Ila has gone on to work for several big-name broadcasters over the last decade including the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV with Emmy and BAFTA winning directors.

Ila has been involved with production on many different levels including undercover filming and investigations but has a primary focus on sensitive access-based documentaries that have been broadcasted on the likes of Dispatches and ITV Exposures. Her directorial debut is in production with Spring Films. Take a sneak peek at one of Ila’s films for India’s 1st best trans model agency >

Ila is a member of the We are Doc women group – a fantastic collective for women who work in TV around the country. To find out more, please visit:  

Is this event for you?

Whatever your professional background, this event is designed to support potential by inspiring new conversations and allowing introductions to take place that will enable collaboration.

The event will take place on Zoom, the video conferencing platform. You don’t need to have an account but we recommend that you sign up for a free account and use the desktop program.