Just a day after PRFest started serious work on the DRIVEN manifesto, with clear routes to helping solve some of the industry’s diversity challenges, the CIPR has published a new report into lived experiences of BAME practitioners in PR.
The report finds a public relations industry in which BAME practitioners tell of racism, microaggressions and unconscious biases faced and having to work within an inflexible culture that denies them opportunities and fair progression; ultimately making individuals question their ability to sustain a career in PR.
‘Race in the PR Workplace: BAME lived experiences in the UK PR industry’ – is calling on senior PR business leaders to take these findings seriously and work to change practices and cultures to “unleash talent and create a fair and equal workplace for all”.
The research follows the career journey of 17 BAME practitioners and highlights a worrying set of common experiences; a profession in which BAME practitioners speak of being afraid to make mistakes, of being unable to be their true selves, of having to work harder for fewer opportunities and of the racism they experience. They speak of being judged to a different standard to their white colleagues and of a lack of support when they speak up.
Laura Sutherland, PRFest founder said: “The report makes for sad reading. I believe right now we have the perfect opportunity to meet these challenges head on and collaboratively work together, as an industry, to solve problems and support each other.
“This isn’t a job one for person or one organisation. I’d love to see much better collaboration between industry bodies, organisations and communities. The DRIVEN manifesto, announced last week, can work alongside and help support wider ambitions for diversity and inclusion in public relations.”
There is also a call for CIPR members to volunteer on the network. Please get in touch with CIPR directly for further information.