Ketchum recognised for diversity drive and partnership with autism charity

PR firm Ketchum has been awarded for its approach to tackling diversity and inclusion by an independent creative industry watchdog.

Ketchum's London Inclusion Council
Ketchum's London Inclusion Council

The agency was awarded the Bronze Creative Equality Standard by Creative Equals. 

Creative Equals work with creative businesses to improve their diversity and inclusion. Their approach includes an audit of HR processes, infrastructure, and an anonymous staff survey.

Since the audit was set up in 2017, Ketchum has worked on a number of changes that include becoming a Disability Confident employer, the creation of a London Inclusion Council, aimed at holding senior leadership to account, and the agency has provided unconscious bias training to employees at all levels.

Ali Hanan, CEO at Creative Equals, said the business case for more diverse workplaces is very strong. She described that when people feel included at work, happiness levels go up by 45 per cent, retention rates rise by 35 perc ent and net promoter scores go up by 21 per cent.

Hanan said more than 74 per cent of graduates now consider a company's approach to inclusion and diversity before they work there.

This week is National Inclusion Awareness week and Ketchum partner and CEO Jo-ann Robertson described the audit as ‘the right thing to do’.

"Stereotypes exist for a reason, so we want to challenge them within the industry, but also change traditional working practices for the better," she said.

She added: "We hope will be able to apply our learnings beyond this scheme to help us become an even more accessible and inclusive workplace. We have a solid roadmap and are being supported by Creative Equals with the aim to achieve the Gold Standard within the next 12 months."

In addition, the agency has started a new partnership with Ambitious About Autism, a national charity for children and young people with autism, where it will be offering a three-month paid internship.

Jolanta Lasota, chief executive of Ambitious about Autism, explained how only 16 per cent of autistic adults are in full-time employment.

"There has been a huge amount of interest in the placement with Ketchum, which highlights autistic young people’s appetite for roles in creative environments," she said. "It’s so encouraging to see Ketchum leading from the front in embracing neurodiversity and the unique contribution that autistic employees can offer the industry."

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