PRWeek Best Places to Work Awards winner profile: Ketchum, Diversity & Inclusion Award

PRWeek reveals the winner and highly commended entries in the Diversity & Inclusion category at the Best Places to Work Awards 2020, and examines the secrets of their success.

Click here for the full list of winners in the PRWeek UK Best Places to Work Awards.

Winner: Ketchum

The Omnicom agency won top honours in this category as the judges agreed it had done the most to hold a mirror up to its own practices and implement positive change.

Soon after becoming London chief executive in 2018, Jo-ann Robertson instigated a three to five-year plan to improve diversity & inclusion (D&I).

A key element has been working with Creative Equals, which champions D&I in the creative industries. An anonymous staff survey led Ketchum London to achieve the Bronze standard; one of only three agencies in three years to manage this at the first attempt. To show the agency's ambition, Ketchum has decided to skip Silver and go straight for Gold.

The agency created a working group across all levels to help bring about change. The group will be consulted about whether, for example, a particular business brief or addition to the rewards and recognition programme is consistent with the D&I aims.

Unconscious bias training last year focused specifically on recruitment. Ketchum advertises roles across multiple spaces, including the Taylor Bennett Foundation, Social Fixt (focused on black talent in the UK creative industry), and LGBTjobs.co.uk.

In 2019, 70 employees undertook D&I training, starting with the entire senior leadership team. New training will focus on reducing bias in interviews, and additional training will look at what is and is not appropriate language and behaviour to encourage inclusivity.

The impact is starting to be felt; 14 per cent of the workforce at the end of 2019 was non-white, against an industry average of 10 per cent. More than 70 per cent of staff are women, including three of the four board-level hires last year. The chief executive has an objective to bring one non-white person to a leadership position in 2020.

In addition, last year Ketchum became accredited as a Disability Confident Committed employer, a recognition that it supports people with disabilities.

Highly Commended: Brands2Life

Brands2Life was commended for its efforts at the grass roots to hire a diverse workforce.

It works with the Ark Globe Academy, which has a high proportion of students from ethnic minorities or who have disadvantaged backgrounds, to hold 'enrichment days' where Brands2Life exposes students to all aspects of work at a busy PR agency. It also attends targeted careers fairs at universities with a strong population of students from ethnic minorities, including Westminster and Kingston.

For older students, the agency offers expenses-paid work experience placements to further this aim.

Brands2Life ensures all staff involved in interviewing complete unconscious-bias and interview training, which covers the importance of D&I.

A total of 13.5 per cent of its staff, and 16 per cent of its workforce, are from minority ethnic groups. Its board is 58 per cent female.

Shortlisted

Hope&Glory

Lansons


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