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Talking through my hat


Released every Tuesday, Talking Through My Hat explores bookish businesses and the fantastic people who create them, looking at why business are started, how they keep going and where we can take them in the future. I'm John Pettigrew - a hat wearer, a recovering editor and the creator of Futureproofs. To avoid missing anything, why not subscribe at Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts, and follow me on Twitter?

May 1, 2018

This was the hardest episode of this podcast so far to record (so apologies in advance for the slightly scrappy quality of some of the audio), because I'm getting personal about some subjects that are often taboo - education, career progression, choices, and the privileges that affect our access to these things. "Privilege" is the preferential treatment that we get from other people, companies and society in general because of our skin colour, socioeconomic class, gender, health or other factors unrelated to our actual ability to perform.

At the moment, it's important for people to own how they got to where they have. Privilege is sometimes a subtle thing - or just something we don't want to admit to. So, in this week's podcast, I tell my own career story, in the interests of owning some of my own privilege and hopefully encouraging other people to speak, too. And perhaps making a few people think about their own privilege in new ways.

If these are issues you're interested in, check out the report from Panic! It's an Arts Emergency (PDF) and Chris McCrudden's excellent commentary, read about the recent BookMachine event about diversity, inclusion and privilege - and try attending similar events in future. Read articles by people who aren't like you. Follow them on social media and listen to what they say. Watch TV that's "not aimed at me".

Don't ask your less-privileged friends to educate you, though. It's not their job to improve you. Put the effort in to improve yourself!