This impressive entry is among a number of initiatives launched to address the PR industry's glaring lack of ethnic diversity.
WX – the brainchild of Warren Johnson, founder of W Communications – is a registered social enterprise with a mission to attract and develop 18- to 21-year-olds bypassed by traditional routes to influential jobs. In turn, the aim is to increase diversity at W and inspire the wider industry to take action. The initiative is led by Johnson and Zoe Stafford, a PR professional with 18 years’ experience, including in senior in-house roles at Puma and MTV.
Underwritten by W with a six-figure sum, and with a mandate to invest its profits into growth, WX offers paid three-month internships and long-term employment to young people with a basic education who have the ambition and creative drive required to forge a career in comms.
Five candidates entered the programme and received training and mentoring into every aspect of the business and the work delivered at W. It has four key phases: Onboarding, where they are introduced to office life; Frontline, where they are given tasks; Assignment, where they work separately with assigned divisions; and Outreach, where they share their experiences by visiting inner-city schools and colleges.
Their ideas were taken seriously; Pot Noodle will be running a Valentine’s Day Campaign that came directly from WX.
As of May 2020, two of the original 'WXers' had accepted offers for full-time employment. The three others want to pursue careers they encountered in their time there – in film, content and animation. Four follow-up placements were midway through their period when the office was closed due to the pandemic.
W said the scheme will be back when the return to office makes it possible.
An authentic and innovative example of how to tackle racial and social inequality. Excellent, tangible results. This entry has both heart and soul.