In 1999, Blackheath High School alumna Dominique Unsworth founded social enterprise Resource Productions, an organisation that nurtures talent of all ages and backgrounds to enable creativity and effect social change through film. In January 2020, she was awarded an MBE for services to apprenticeships in recognition of her work training people for careers in the film and television industry.
What has been your greatest achievement?
Over 20 years Resource Productions has slowly grown from nothing to a team of ten amazingly talented, hard-working and fun people who enable social change through film and art and help diversify the creative industries by finding and supporting more than 3,000 young people and adults each year – and helping them to develop their projects and careers.
Do you think it’s been tougher as a woman than it would have been for a man?
When I started out people were less used to hiring women to operate cameras or edit, so I traded for a long time off the fact that the abbreviated version of my name – Dom – suggested I was a man. But I have found socio-economic background to be the biggest barrier. If you don’t move in the right circles, things take longer and you do have to work harder. As someone whose first home was on a council estate, going to a GDST school opened up a world of opportunity to me. I don’t think there is any way I’d have achieved what I have without the people I met and the diversity of experiences I had at such a young age thanks to my school, my teachers, friends and their families.
Are you seeing more young women in film now?
Sadly, due to the changes in the mainstream school curriculum and the focus on the EBacc so many schools are having to drop arts subjects like music, photography and drama. This has resulted in a massive skills gap within our brilliant and ever-growing creative industries. The jobs are there, women with the talent and interest are there, but convincing parents that a job in the arts is a viable career path, is more challenging than ever. That’s why I became an ambassador for apprenticeships, to act as a role model and encourage more women to enter the industry