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Meet our team: Michelle Neilson, Executive Assistant

Category: testimonial, BAME, BAME Inclusion, performing arts, Arts Council England, Arts, Women in Arts, Women in Culture, What Our People Say, Staff Testimonial, BAME Diversity


Currently based at home, Michelle Neilson usually works in our London office. She tells us a bit about smart working at the Arts Council and her mystery-solving alter ego…

What does your role involve?

I’m responsible for managing the activities of Liz Bushell, our Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer, and I co-ordinate and assist on projects within the Finance and Corporate Services department, such as sorting insurance and property administration for our offices. I’m also a member of our smart working project group, which we champion here at the Arts Council. Smart working looks at creating the best environment and set of behaviours to help our staff thrive at work — from having flexible hours to having access to portable technology which makes remote-working possible, something that’s become totally essential now!

What was your career like before joining the Arts Council, and what made you apply to work here?

Growing up I had a strong interest in the arts. After working as a legal secretary for two years, I made the transition to the not-for-profit sector as an office manager for a museums service. Ten years later I realised I liked working behind the scenes and so applied for the post here and have never looked back.

Michelle's cat Minstrel has fully embraced smart working too...

What’s the best thing about working at Arts Council?

Definitely the people and how passionate everyone is about what we do; there’s a real sense of belonging you get working here. I also love the diversity of our workforce – there’s so many different people and different roles.

What have you learned from working here that you didn’t expect?

To be yourself — everyone is valued and plays an important role within the organisation no matter what you do or who you work for. We are all small cogs working hard to make people’s lives better.

What’s the first thing you’ll do after lockdown ends?

I’m really looking forward to enjoying face to face chats with family and friends, and I’d also like to attend some dance-fit classes at the gym. 

Finally… tell us something unusual about yourself!

Having originally trained as a legal secretary I have a keen interest in the law, and I love reading crime fiction and learning about new techniques and developments that help to solve a mystery. 

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

Learn more about this employer

Arts Council England

Inclusive features

  • Dependency (Parenting & Carers)
  • Staff Network Group
  • Disability (Physical)
  • Generation (Age Friendly)
  • Training & Development
  • Race, Ethnicity & Heritage
  • Home & Flexible Working

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