PR's shocking lack of diversity holds it back

New research by PRWeek found one in five UK PR agencies have no non-white employees at all. The figures are, of course, shocking.

PR's shocking lack of diversity holds it back

Not just because agencies aren't 'ticking boxes to reach quota', but because without diversity in the workforce, we can't properly serve the clients that we work with.

PRWeek UK Top 150: One in five UK PR agencies has no BME employees

When we talk about diversity in the workforce, we first need to understand that the UK IS diverse. We are not all middle-aged white men from the Home Counties. Neither are we all sassy, blow-dried city girls. Britain is male and female and non-binary and white and black and Asian and mixed and straight and gay and able-bodied and disabled and... you get the picture.

So, our staff teams - from the board right through to the account exec - need to be that, too. They need to understand the audiences that they are targetting, because if they don't, then how can we be doing our jobs properly?

It's not just about having a black face on your board. it's about having staff and teams that understand the communities that clients need to reach.

In the same way that a global brand may issue a toolkit to London and it's tweaked to reflect different European audiences, likewise we need to understand our own audience right here in the UK.

Some have it right. Some agencies, especially agencies that connect brands with culture, have great diversity in their workforce, and their output shows that.

But whether you're an agency representing consumer brands, or finance companies, or the public sector, or B2B, it doesn't make a difference.

Difference makes the difference. Difference in culture, in gender, in age, and in ethnicity.

We are a wonderfully diverse nation. So let's do our clients justice by reflecting that, and most importantly, serving that.

My name is Dawn Mason - thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Dawn Mason is CEO and founder of Dawn Mason Inc.

Thumbnail image ©GettyImages

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