Network launches to tackle lack of racial diversity in public affairs

A new network has launched on the first day of National Inclusion Week, aiming to give a voice to people from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds who are interested in, working in, or progressing their careers in the public affairs industry.

The Public Affairs Racial Diversity Network (Pardn) will focus on helping people from diverse backgrounds succeed, challenging the sector to change and helping to shape the debate.

The network, sponsored by public affairs consultancy Cavendish Advocacy, is keen to attract in-house and agency public affairs professionals from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds.

The group is also eager to welcome people from non-diverse backgrounds who want to champion the network’s aims and support its future work.

Olivia Choudhry, founder of Pardn, said: “It is critical that people from diverse backgrounds play a role in helping to shape the sector, and that we use our voice to help drive the change that is needed. This is a moment for change and, through our network, we have an opportunity to have a real impact.”

Jennifer Riddell-Carpenter, board director at Cavendish Advocacy, said: “As a business, we’re increasingly focused on creating a more diverse and inclusive company, and we’re also asking ourselves what more we can do to play our part in helping create meaningful change in the sector.”

Stephen Pomeroy, chief executive of BECG, said: “Public affairs consultants are change-makers.

“At the heart of what we do is to create change and provide a challenge, and the sector needs to do more to challenge itself to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce – one that represents the people we’re seeking to engage with.

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