News: Diversity in PR needs to reflect audiences

Diversity in PR goes beyond race and sex. #PRFest announces panel line-up

At the second #PRFest, Anne Groves from Taylor Bennett Foundation, Mary Whenman, President of Women in PR, Elizabeth Bananuka, a freelance practitioner who represents BME in PR, and Ethan Spibey who heads up the PRCA’s LGBT Group, will participate in a panel session chaired by #FuturePRoof’s Sarah Hall.

In order for the industry to reflect its audiences it’s vital that public relations business leaders engage in the debate around diversity in PR and how to address the lack of it. By exploring the business and moral case for improving diversity in PR, practitioners will be better informed on the issue itself and how to take practical steps to address it.

This session on Thursday, 15 June, will cover the following:

  • Why diversity and inclusion in PR is important
  • The range of diversity issues in the industry – Women, LGBT, disability, ethnicity, social mobility
  • The business and moral case for ethnic diversity and social mobility
  • Case studies – Taylor Bennett Foundation training & mentoring

In addition to this panel session, #PRFest also announces the launch of Women in PR in Scotland.

diversity in prLast autumn, Women in PR held a successful networking drinks event in Manchester that was attended by almost 50 women from across the city. Following the success of this event and demand to hold more events in the nations and regions, Women in PR will be hosting a networking drinks event on the eve of #PRFest for attendees as well as those working in PR and communications across Scotland. All practitioners are encouraged to attend, not just women.

Mary Whenman, president of Women in PR said: Gender pay gap reporting legislation will require large employers with more than 250 employees to publish their overall mean and median gender pay gaps from 2018, after regulations are likely to commence in April 2017.  Women in PR is committed to helping close the gender pay gap in PR.  #PRFest provides a great opportunity to discuss the issue and other diversity issues impacting our industry.”  

The launch event will kick off #PRFest on Wednesday, 14 June at 6pm. Tickets will be available via Eventbrite and will be released in the coming weeks. Follow @WIPRUK to be first to receive booking details.

Early bird tickets for #PRFest are on sale now, until 5th February. Don’t miss your chance to get a discount! Buy your tickets here.

Speaker biographies – Diversity in PR panel

About Anne Groves

Anne was Director of the Taylor Bennett Foundation from 2012 to 2016 and now leads our expansion into Scotland. Anne has also worked on a freelance basis for Taylor Bennett, the executive search firm, following a 30 year career in public relations in the publishing, financial services and professional services sectors, most recently as Global Head Of PR at Clifford Chance. Anne is also a board member of theatre company Oily Cart, an ambassador for contemporary dance festival Dance Umbrella and does voluntary PR work for talent development charity the Tennis First Charitable Trust. Anne is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

About Mary Whenman

Mary Whenman has 25 years’ experience of leading UK, EMEA and global corporate communications and b2b programmes and advising clients at a strategic level.  Mary’s core areas of expertise are corporate reputation management, issues and crisis management and b2b marketing, spanning a wide range of sectors. Mary has spent much of her career handling complex communications issues and advising companies during periods of major corporate change. Mary was a Cannes Lions Glass judge 2016, listed in the PR Week Powerbook 2016 & 2015, FT Power Part-Time Winner 2014, President of Women in PR, MPRCA, PRCA PR & Communications Council Member, MCIPR, a former PR Week Mentoring Mentor, past Women in Sales Mentor and Runner up PR Week Young Achiever Award 1996.

About Ethan Spibey

Ethan Spibey is the Chair of the PRCA’s LGBT Group and in his spare time also runs the award winning FreedomToDonate campaign, leading on a Government review on who can donate blood. Ethan works in Government Affairs in the City of London on behalf of financial and related professional services and has previously worked in Westminster in public affairs and campaigning roles. Ethan grew up in Manchester, studied at King’s College London, and in his spare time enjoys competing with the LGBT swim club he is a member of.

About Sarah Hall

Sarah Hall is a pioneer of best practice in the PR industry. The holder of the CIPR’s Sir Stephen Tallents medal 2014 for exceptional achievement in public relations practice, she has established a reputation as an ethics tsar and gender and equality advocate through her work with the Institute.

Sarah is the CIPR’s 2017 President-Elect and will become President in its seventieth anniversary year. She was the first North East practitioner to become Chartered, a status that recognizes the highest standard of knowledge, expertise and ethical practice within the PR industry and is a benchmark of professional excellence and integrity.

Founder and editor of #FuturePRoof and a regular speaker at industry events, she is policy director for the PRCA and ICCO. Her other voluntary commitments include acting as a Trustee for the Sunshine Fund.

When she’s not at work you’ll find her busy being Mum to two small boys and walking her cocker spaniel Madge. You can also catch her being rather noisy on Twitter via @Hallmeister.

Elizabeth’s biography will follow.