The group, which has more than 300 staff in the UK and Middle East, has set a target of at least 25 per cent BAME staff by 2023, rising to 30 per cent in London.
At present, 21 per cent of Four’s UK staff and 29 per cent of its staff worldwide are BAME.
It has also set targets for ethnic minority representation for client-facing staff, which at 16 per cent by 2021 rising to 20 per cent by 2023 is notably lower than other targets (see table below).
The group has not yet laid out its leadership targets; 10 per cent of the agency’s current operating board members are from BAME backgrounds.
Four’s ‘Our Race Equality Pledge’ involved three months of collaboration between management and a BAME staff group. It lays out seven commitments the group hopes will improve racial equality across the group and its work.
Notably, this includes transparency on ethnic diversity data, including data by region/office, client-facing staff, ethnic pay gap and board representation.
There are also new HR policies on recruitment, retention and training for all staff (listed below).
“As an agency Four has always had its eyes wide open regarding racial equality, but this summer we needed to ask ourselves whether they were open enough,” Four Communications head of HR Marcia La-Rose said.
“Following the brutal murders of George Floyd and others and the Black Lives Matter protests, we have worked with our Four BAME staff group to ensure that our race equality policies are fit for purpose, and to put in place an action plan for the future to promote greater race equality, transparency and positive action.
“We pursue equality, diversity and inclusion with great vigour, but need to continue to challenge ourselves to go further. Our Four Gender Equality, Four LGBT+ and Four BAME initiatives and staff groups sit at the heart of this agenda.”