We like to think of digiio as a fun, happy, supportive family. So when our CEO Sarah Allen suggested her daughter Isabel could help out our video production team, it seemed like a natural fit with our digiio values.
That’s why, to celebrate the occasion of the UN’s International Day of Families, we spoke with Isabel and her mum to find out more about her experience of working with the digiio team and her thoughts on the family business.
“I love going into work with my mum,” Isabel told us. “When I was little, I used to go into the office with her and it was great. I loved seeing her being in charge because she’s so smart and good at what she does. It’s different to see her like that because she acts more professional where at home she’s funny!”
When Isabel came on set, she found her place as an extra on one of our video productions – an experience the teenager really enjoyed.
“Working with the digiio team was so fun!” she continues, “Everyone is so friendly and they really looked after me. The first video I worked on, I was an extra; I was the girl who was ordering some environmentally friendly products on my phone. It was the first time I’d done anything like that in front of the camera – I felt famous!”
The day went so well that Isabel has been back on set a few times, playing different characters in the customer advocacy programme for a big tech brand and even trying her hand at telecasting. Her favourite project was for a charity with an employment service that specialises in disability confident jobs.
Disability confident work
“Being on the set was fun because I got to talk with lots of different people who I really related with. They were all disabled and I felt really included. Everyone was really friendly and it was a bit overwhelming because they were all so nice to me.”
Isabel was diagnosed as autistic as a child and has been outside mainstream education for the last five years. Now home educated, Isabel loves her online school but it doesn’t afford her many opportunities to get out of the house and interact with people face to face.
She explains, “It was brilliant to be part of something like that. Some of the people in the video were visibly disabled – like Mohammed who had a guide dog – and others weren’t – like Rachael who was deaf. But they had all heard of autism and had worked with people like me. It was good to think there were people who were going to see the advert and maybe rethink how they thought about disability.”
It's an issue Isabel feels really strongly about. She’d love to see more representation and opportunity for disabled people in adverts and in business.
“Isabel’s experience on the day really fits with digiio’s values,” agrees her mum and our CEO, Sarah. “Inclusion is something we all feel really passionate about. It meant a lot to work for the whole team to be able to work on that video and raise awareness.”
“I’m so proud of my mum,” adds Isabel. “digiio is good people and they work with good companies with good morals to share important messages. Being on set was hard for me because there were a lot of people and it could be quite loud, but the digiio team understood and they let me take breaks whenever I felt bad. They looked after me. And I also got to have my eyeliner done because there was a makeup artist there!”
As well as featuring in the video, Isabel gained experience supporting the digiio team with some other on-set jobs. Our Creative Director Freddie Hutton Mills was also on set that day.
“It was great to see Freddie directing because he’s so good at it,” says Isabel. “He talked to me to make me feel at ease. I really liked seeing all the behind-the-scenes stuff.”
Looking forward to the future
Despite loving the experience, Isabel isn’t sure yet whether she wants to follow in her mum’s footsteps. She’s also considering a career in psychology or counselling.
“For now, I just want to finish my education and do my best,” Isabel says. “I’d like to get some more work experience with digiio though.”
“For quite a few years, I wouldn’t even really leave my house because of my worries and stuff,” Isabel continues. “Giving me an experience like this has really helped me to feel more confident. It’s much better than being lonely at home or being in school being bullied. It helps that everyone at digiio is so nice. I feel much happier and more confident and it’s been great to get some work experience. I’ve got much more idea of what the world of work is going to be like when I get there.”
Isabel continues, “My mum is very supportive of me. She definitely understands me better than everyone else. She’s my best friend and the most supportive person I know. She helps me to be my best and I love her.”
Sarah is equally proud of her daughter. She adds, “Because Isabel has been out of mainstream school, she hasn’t had a lot of social interaction, so it’s been really great for Isabel to get this life and work experience. It’s been an amazing experience and it’s great to see her confidence and skills developing. We’re all so proud of her.”
International Day of Families
The UN International Day of Families observance is to raise awareness of the role of the family in social progress and development. On May 15th, the 2023 event celebrates intergenerational equity and solidarity and, as part of the preparations for the thirtieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family, 2024 (IYF+30), the 2023 observance of the International Day of Families focuses on the megatrend of demographic change and its impact on families.
The UN will share current knowledge on demographic trends, including ageing and intergenerational solidarity, facilitate the analysis of their impacts on family life and recommend responsive family-oriented policies to respond to the needs of families around the world.
Find out more here: UN International Day of Families
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