For the next instalment of our Empowering Women series, let us introduce you to Dior Bediako, founder of Pepper Your Talk, a fashion careers platform for young creatives. Find out more about Dior’s passion project, crucial career hacks and her game-changing goals for the year ahead in our exclusive Q&A. It’s time to feel inspired.
Tell us more about Pepper Your Talk…
Pepper Your Talk was birthed out of a need I had as a new graduate and young professional. My first role was at a luxury fashion brand which was a dream come true but I quickly realised that I didn’t know how to grow in a corporate environment. Simple tasks such as how to send a good email, put on my out-of-office and send calendar invites were all foreign to me. Yet, on the more serious side of the spectrum, I realised that I completely lacked professional confidence, never spoke up in meetings or knew how to approach conversations about promotions and pay-rises.
Through Pepper Your Talk, we prepare young professionals for their career climb through workshop, panel events, university lectures, articles and so much more. There is still a long way to go but ultimately, we want every single young person to have the tools to succeed in their fashion career. Back in 2017, I also launched The Junior Network, a members’ club for young professionals, which is an extension of Pepper Your Talk and very much close to my heart.
What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve been given?
“When you’re in a disagreement, it’s never you against the person. It’s always you two, as a team, against the problem.” That has really stuck with me and can be applied to all areas of life, from relationships to careers.
What are your goals for 2019?
My personal goals are endless but framed around a podcast I listened to about The Compound Effect, which basically says that anything you do every day is significant and has an impact. In short, I want to adopt good habits that produce amazing results in my life.
What are your top three career hacks for breaking into the fashion industry?
Build a grass-roots network of people at your level and grow in the industry together. Secondly, when applying for jobs, pay attention to company culture and aim to work in environments that support your core values and match your personality. Lastly, look for opportunities everywhere. Fashion is a very social industry and you can meet your next boss at bar – perfect your pitch and stay switched on!
Describe your typical workwear uniform…
I usually work from various members’ clubs around London and nowhere seems to be warm enough – comfort is always in season for me! A good thermal vest is my base before I build it up with one of three combos: a jumper and a knee-length skirt, cropped trousers and a shirt, or jeans and a blouse.
Which trends are you most looking forward to in 2019?
For the first time in my life, I’m looking forward to streamlining my wardrobe and focusing on ‘grown-up’ basics, great fabrics and classic silhouettes. But let’s see how that goes – in a few months’ time, I’m sure I’ll have some crazy neon impulse buy thrown in the mix.
Tell us about the pieces you’ve chosen…
I’m obsessed with the shell ring because it has rich connections to my culture. Many moons ago in Ghana, shells were used as currency which I still can’t get over. The grey leather bag is a great find because it’s neutral enough to compliment so many outfits and fits my laptop, which is always a selling feature for me. The hoop earrings and stackable rings are the perfect solution to dress up a day-to-day look, taking me from work to after-work drinks. And lastly, my mantra for 2019 is ‘never borrow from tomorrow’ so the hour-by-hour planner keeps me accountable and in charge of my day.