Encouraging Diversity: PowerBook 2020 - What key thing should the industry do?

Updated: May 14, 2020

Earlier this month, PR Week hosted at The Ned in The City, the 200 individuals it had selected to be the “top 1% of the comms sector in the UK”. It was fitting that PR Week chose a venue in the City.

As the Director of Engagement and Communications for the British Medical Association, I was chosen to attend – although I recognised that I was representing the powerful brand of the BMA and the work of the incredible communications team rather than any particular personal achievement! We were all given a list of standard questions to respond to. One was: “What key thing should the industry do to encourage diversity?” As the Company is now being recognised in the City for the work it is doing to promote diversity, equality and inclusion, I thought that it would be interesting to gather together some of the responses to see whether we could learn any tips. What’s encouraging is the emphasis on action across many of the pithiest responses:

“Reach out to local schools and colleges to offer paid work experience and mentoring for young people who may not have the means or contacts to make this happen for themselves.” Nina Arnott, Domino’s Pizza Group

“There is no one quick fix, we have a whole programme to take us to where we want to be.” Sarah Woolnough, Cancer Research UK

“Embrace a broader audience, both in terms of its talent intake and the targeting of campaigns.” Danny Rogers, PR Week

“Just do it. No excuses.” Jonathan Bennett, Netflix

“Look into remote working to tap into more diverse communities around the UK”. Tara O’Donnell, Hotwire

My contribution tested with our own diversity expert and Court Assistant – Neil Griffiths – was: ”Act. Set a course and take steps towards greater diversity.”

The Company is a member of the Livery Schools Link – a brokerage service that aims to match volunteers with children from less advantaged backgrounds across the country. We are also playing a part through the partnership with the Taylor Bennett Foundation, where Company members are hosting masterclasses for recent graduates from the BAME community who may not otherwise get this type of insight into the communications industry. A group of the graduates will be at the Spring Dinner.

If you would like to find out more about what the Company is doing to champion diversity, equality and inclusion – come along (and bring friends) to the Spring Dinner at Cutlers Hall on 29 April. Our Master has invited Mandy Rico - Global Director, The Inclusion Index - as Guest of Honour.

Deborah Oliver TD, Senior Warden