Bruna Capozzoli

Bruna Capozzoli is Head of Creative Content at On the Edge Conservation, a digital not-for-profit working on the preservation of our natural world.

She is also a digital specialist who directs, produces and develops content that resonates with audiences in meaningful ways

Bruna has shifted her activities by engaging in purpose-driven projects committed to deliver positive impact on and off screens. She joined On The EDGE Conservation as Head of Creative Content and is the creator of the new On The EDGE YouTube series.

Bruna is a feminist and part of the LGBTQ+ community. Her continuous interest and engagement in social and political issues resonate across all her professional activities.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I’ve been a digital content creator for over seven years and my day-to-day role is to find ways to engage young audiences on the online platforms where they hang out, such as YouTube.

With OTEC, I have created the world’s first virtual YouTubers for kids. Each character is a lesser-known endangered species who vlogs weekly about their life, just like a human blogger, but at the same time they engage kids about the importance of biodiversity and the protection of our natural world.

I’ve had a varied career – from starting as a theatre actor in Brazil where I was born and grew up, through writing and directing short films, until now managing and developing my own content series. Each role has been creative in its own particular way.

Within the digital kids and family arena I have worked with well-known brands such as Angry Birds, Talking Tom & Friends and Playmobil, as well as smaller IPs that were starting to build an online presence. My main responsibility was to translate each brand’s identity into engaging, original YouTube content.

In January last year, I decided to leave my position as Creative Director at the commercial production company CAKE / Popcorn Digital, to focus instead on helping purpose-driven projects and organisations.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

For sure! As a foreigner entering the UK’s highly competitive creative industry, the challenges were huge.

Understanding what it is exactly you want to do in this sector is also tough – there are so many avenues to go down. I was fortunate enough to experiment and work in fields that really matter to me.

When I started out, the digital space was new and evolving. In each of my roles I learnt a new skill which opened up fresh opportunities.

Overall, I definitely plan my career, but this doesn’t mean that things always go the way I think it will. I knew the field I wanted to work in was very competitive and that I needed patience and hard work to constantly improve my craft.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

The virtual influencer project I am currently working on at OTEC is probably one of the most challenging I have ever done because it really explores uncharted territories in digital and animation.

In creative content production you need to monitor and understand consumer trends, while also staying on top of the most cutting-edge technology and emerging digital platforms. It’s extremely challenging, but you have to be comfortable with not knowing everything and instead having the drive to learn.

Good communication and the confidence to ask questions are important skills to have.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Measuring career achievements is always about perspective. At the time, each little step was such a big accomplishment. From getting my first job in media, all the way to being responsible for an entire content series. It’s important to celebrate every phase.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I am very conscious that I had a privileged start to my career. My parents supported me during my studies in Brazil and the UK. Without their help and loving support, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

When my career started, instead of not understanding something and making mistakes, I’d always ask questions, do extensive research and learn more – never having the mindset that what I knew was enough.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

For women specifically, I would say that it is important that we own our space, feel comfortable speaking up and add our point of view. Tech isn’t always a field that is particularly welcoming to women or designed to help us succeed, but that is changing.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I think that it would be fair to pose this question to the male counterpart instead and ask them to reflect on what they can do to eradicate the ‘Boys’ Club’ culture that can be quite pervasive in this sector.

It can be exhausting for women to take on the responsibility of educating men on this matter, on top of the ownership and challenges of the job itself.

What do you think companies can do to support the careers of women working in technology?

It’s very important that the actual decision-makers – those in positions of power – are representative of different genders, ethnicity, social backgrounds, disabilities and sexual orientation.

Sometimes, the lack of representation in top positions is a deliberate choice, which perpetuates bias.

There is currently only 17 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I would definitely make sexual harassment and discrimination vanish once and for all, so women could feel comfortable to exist at their fullest in the workplace. This would be an important first step to allow female professionals to achieve their complete potential.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

There is an amazing book which really changed my perspective on the tech world and added so many new questions and points of view to my experience: Lean Out, edited by Elissa Shevinsky.

This book helped point out a lot of issues and systemic barriers which I was experiencing and keeping inside  me – almost as abstract feelings. I could only overcome them by identifying them and understanding that my experiences were shared by many others.

I also follow Lesbians who Tech, a community of LGBTQ women, non-binary and trans individuals working in the world of tech, they are a great resource.

Click here to see On the Edge Conservation’s Virtual YouTubers in action