Come work for us!

Stopgap are currently looking for Communications Manager and Project Manager. We made some statements about inclusivity and career progression in our recruitment page, and Executive Producer Sho Shibata writes this blog to give potential candidates a deeper insight into what we mean.

This is an image of Sho who is East Asian with brown glasses working at a desk. He is looking down on his laptop

We pride ourselves of being a supportive company with a track record of nurturing our staff. You might feel under qualified, but if you think you can grow into the role, please take a look. It's your aspirations that matter to us, not necessarily your qualifications.

What do we mean by that…?

Stopgap Dance Company has a history of nurturing people whether they be artists or management staff. I myself started off as an administrator back in 2008 and took the senior management role in 2012. My close colleagues Lucy Bennett and Laura Jones also grew within the company. They started off as company dancers in the early 2000s and became Artistic Director and Head of Talent Development respectively. Our entire management team in fact all started in junior roles within the company and took steps up over time.

This kind of nurturing process works well for a company like ours because the starting point for us in choosing people is ‘does this person have an understanding of how to be open and inclusive’? And quite often, this isn’t something we can definitively teach. We are not looking for specialists in disability access all the time, but rather glimpses of a trait in people’s personality. We know that the technical knowledge and skills can be taught afterwards, but something as fundamental as how people approach things in life can’t be. So we are more interested in finding out what motivates our candidates in their life choices, hobbies, interests rather than the glimmering career/academic successes.

Another thing we do with our staff is to give them work that play to their strengths and assign projects that matches up to their personal/professional interests. And we are not afraid to give them assignments that might seem quite ambitious in the first instance. We have supportive staff who are more than happy to dip in to help out and to give advice as and when needed. We are never unnecessarily critical of failures because that’s just a part of the process of learning. As long as there’s ambition to take things on, we respond accordingly. So again, we are not necessarily looking for candidates with huge success stories, but candidates who are genuinely interested in the kinds of projects we do and aspirations to progress their careers through us. This is particularly important given that the roles advertised are fixed-term contracts.

As an inclusive company, we are used to offering flexible-working arrangements, job-shares etc to a diverse range of staff. So whatever your circumstances, tell us what you need and we'll make it work!

What do we mean by that…?

We wanted these roles to be as flexible and inclusive to as many people as possible. As an inclusive company, we of course take care of any access needs for disabled employees, but we also know personal needs go much beyond that. The pandemic has led to many arts managers losing their jobs, and there are some who need full-time work. But we know there are self-employed arts managers out there whose work may have become increasingly patchy, so they might be after part-time or flexible working. That kind of contract might also be desirable for those who have increased caring needs due to Covid-19 and are in need of balancing demands from work and home. Whatever the circumstances, we would like candidates to be open and honest about the demands on their working patterns from the off so that we can pull in additional support or rejig our recruitment plans accordingly as the best we can. Honesty will not count against you.

One of the advantages of having an established inclusive culture within our company is the support that staff are always willing to give each other. Someone will always have your back, and as a collective, we often demonstrate that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We have ridden through many adversities by working as a united team and we would love to have to have people join us who can make us even stronger than we are today.

Click here to return to our recruitment page.

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