PRCA commits to more BAME speakers at events as it establishes new advisory board

The PRCA has launched a BAME (Black and minority ethnic) Advisory Board and said it will increase the representation of ethnic diversity at its events.

PRCA Diversity Network chair Rax Lakhani
PRCA Diversity Network chair Rax Lakhani

The trade body said it will also make diversity a mandatory subject in its learning and development programme and embed diversity in the criteria for its PRCA Communications Management Standard (CMS).

Data from last year’s PRCA Census indicates that nine out of 10 PR professionals (89 per cent) identify as white, a fall of just three per cent since the industry Census in 2011.

The new advisory board – which will be represented at PRCA board level – aims to accelerate the representation of BAME professionals within agencies and in-house teams.

The PRCA said the advisory board will work with other PR and marketing associations to “establish a consensus for change and a plan to confront the obstacles preventing BAME professionals from progressing”.

It will also oversee the PRCA’s existing Schools Outreach Programme to ensure diversity is considered in its operation.

The PRCA said it will also commit to increasing the numbers of BAME speakers at its events.

“It is time for legitimate concerns about the exclusion of voices such as those of BAME professionals to be tackled head-on by us all. ‘BAME’ itself is a broad term, and we’re acutely aware of the different issues faced by differing ethnic groups,” PRCA diversity chair Rax Lakhani said.

“I look forward to working with the new advisory board as we seek to advance towards a more diverse and inclusive working culture in PR.”

PRCA chairman Jim Donaldson added: “The murder of George Floyd and all of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations over the past few weeks have bought into sharp focus how much we still have to do as an industry to fight the scourge of racism in the UK, as well as building more and better career opportunities for ethnically diverse professionals in our sector.”

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