Founder of Pepper Your Talk and The Junior Network.
Dior Bediako is the founder of Pepper Your Talk, an access all areas platform for fashion creatives supporting young students and graduates through events and workshops.
In 2017, she founded The Junior Network, fashion’s first member’s club for young professionals. Through her network of industry leaders, The Junior Network has supported the career ambitions of employees at companies such as Jimmy Choo, Net-a-Porter, ASOS, Debenhams, Swarovski and many others.
Previously, Dior worked at Burberry and birthed both companies out of her personal frustration as a new graduate. Her mission is to build an engaged community of support for young people embarking on a career within the fashion industry.
As well as this, Dior is a guest lecturer, panel moderator, workshop facilitator and speaker covering covering events such as Stylist Live, Draper’s Fashion Forum, Graduate Fashion Week and more.
What does diversity mean to you?
Diversity for me starts with the optics! Looking out into every sector and seeing people from all walks of life present on every level. Yet, that’s just stage one. It doesn’t end with what an industry should ‘look’ like. But rather how all those people come together and are respected for their varying cultures, beliefs and experiences.
Why do you care about diversity?
It’s my duty to shape a world I would feel comfortable bringing my children and all future generations of my bloodline into. I believe each of us should always be working hard, smart and diligently for the ones that will come after us.
Working within the fashion industry, I am never surprised to be one of very few black people in the room. I personally know a large number of black women who are passionate, knowledgable and excited about the sector, yet aren’t always afforded the opportunities to have a seat at the table. Through the member’s club I founded, The Junior Network, I am so proud to work with many young ladies of BAME backgrounds and support their career ambitions. These girls WILL go on to change the industry and sooner, rather than later, the race ratios in the offices, events and beyond will change.
Who is your role model?
Sharmadean Reid is a great example of a multi-dimensional woman (as most women are). Yet, I am very incredibly inspired by her entrepreneurial spirit, self-awareness and brains! Through following her career I learnt that you don’t have to confirm to any industry’s standards because when you are the very best, it will show and people will not only accept you but come banging down your door!
I also love how strategic she is in her career moves, from WAH to Future Girl Corp and now Beauty Stack. There’s a common thread that runs through all her endeavours and she ups her game every time.
What is one thing you wish you knew five years ago?
That sure death (of creativity) happens on a linear career path. I graduated exactly 5 years and wanted nothing more than to land my dream job and climb the corporate career ladder. One month later I was sitting in the Burberry Head Office and it dawned on me that I would be working until my 60’s, as a 22 year old I shouldn’t have been stuck behind a desk. Instead of rushing to have it all figured out and to follow the perfect path, I actually needed to get my hands dirt and exhaustively explore all my passions because that’s the key to true success.