Taylor releases diversity statistics, shares them with Hold The PRess

Two Taylor employees were part of the group that cofounded the initiative, which calls on PR firms to reveal diversity stats.

Taylor CEO Tony Signore (Photo credit: Michael Hnatov)
Taylor CEO Tony Signore (Photo credit: Michael Hnatov)

NEW YORK: Sports and entertainment firm Taylor released its diversity statistics revealing that 42% of its employees are non-white, including the 24% of its workforce that are Black. The workforce is also 63% female. 

Taylor posted the stats on its website and shared them with the Hold The PRess project, which calls on PR agencies to reveal diversity statistics. The project was created, in part, by two Taylor employees: account executive Nysah Warren and the director of Taylor’s digital sports group Sade Ayodele. The analysis of employee statistics and the post were both made July 31.

The agency also revealed its racial makeup by title. VPs and above are 17% non-white and 11% Black, and an even half of the agency’s directors are people of color, while 20% are Black.

Of senior level staffers including account supervisors, associate directors and managers,  30% are people of color with 10% being Black.

Some 46% of account executives, strategists, copywriters and art directors (senior and non-senior) were non-white and 33% are Black. For junior staffers —interns, assistant account executives and coordinators — the numbers were 73% non-white and 40% Black.

Taylor had 93 employees in 2019 according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2020.

Although people of color hold nearly half and in some cases more than half of the positions at various levels at the company, Taylor’s CEO Tony Signore said the agency still has work to do. 

“Taylor still has a long way to go,” Signore explained. “I’m not willing to say we have done enough, and we are willing to do more.”

And in the post, Taylor committed to increasing its diversity. By the end of July next year it hopes that 65% of its staff will be female, 35% male, 50% non-white and 30% Black. The agency also made similar commitments for the various management levels at the shop.

Still, Signore said, focusing only on numbers misses the point.

“If you look at what 600 and Rising and Hold the PRess are talking about, it’s not just about numbers,” he said. “If you, as an agency leader, are just looking at numbers and thinking that will create change, you’re mistaken.” 

In addition to recruiting efforts, Signore said training, mentorship and other resources must be developed to create a culture where diversity can thrive. “We all know it’s all about diversity of thought,” he added. “And group think is how organizations become stale. You cannot get caught up in hard numbers.”

The statistics, Signore said, are just the starting point for creating strategic plans to address diversity, and any consternation around posting the numbers is a distraction from the larger debate. “People are getting too caught up in the sharing of numbers and that’s a smoke screen,” he said. 

In its post, the agency promised to continue publishing diversity data and addressed the other diversity-related demands made by the organizers of Hold the PRess concerning agency culture, outreach to diverse media and recruiting.  

In terms of recruiting, Taylor committed to hire eight full-time interns from historically Black colleges and universities. According to the post, the agency has been recruiting from HBCUs for 15 years.

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