The Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ Diversity Working Group (CIPR DWG) marking its 5th anniversary, is calling on businesses in public relations to take greater ownership of the diversity agenda, embed a more mature approach to deliver genuine inclusive leadership, and ensure inclusive communications is factored in to the delivery of all public relations campaigns.
Qualitative research study of more than 30 PR professionals, from a range of disciplines and backgrounds, which recorded personal experiences and perceptions across a range of ‘diversity issues’ including ethnicity, sexuality, disability, gender equality and age equality.
The findings reveal:
- “Disability in PR is a dirty secret” often overlooked by PR businesses and the industry’s representative bodies.
- Evidence of active discrimination of ethnic minorities in recruitment – and general slow progress on the issue down to a lack of impetus for change
- “PR’s obsession with youth” and pursuit of digital natives has resulted in older professionals being made to feel “out of touch
- A complacent approach to sexuality has led to non-heterosexual professionals feeling uncomfortable about being themselves in certain sectors.
- On gender equality – a feeling of injustice amongst women starting families that has been amplified by inflexible working cultures, created by an imbalance of men in leadership positions, resulting in a gender pay gap dispute (Note: as recorded in CIPR State of the Profession 2015)
The research was conducted both through face-to-face roundtables hosted in London and Leeds, and through the use of innovative mobile research platform Kiosk, which prompted participants to record and share video feedback on a range of issues via their smartphones.