Diversity and inclusion matter in public relations and should matter in any industry.
Many organizations have begun to focus on diversity and inclusion initiatives. Just last year, Uber hired its first chief of diversity and inclusion officer, and in 2017, The University of Alabama named its first vice president and associate provost for diversity, equity and inclusion.
These changes among organizations indicate that it is time to take action to reinforce this practice in the workplace.
Now, why are diversity and inclusion important for a company? Why should PR professionals be aware of that importance?
In this fast-changing world, the right management of a diverse team can give a business the tools to achieve its goals successfully.
According to the PRSA Diversity and Inclusion ToolKit, “Diverse teams bring multiple perspectives to problem-solving and help make strategic decisions that better reflect client demographics.” A diverse perspective that is welcomed in an inclusive environment can lead to significant changes within an organization.
An inclusive environment is developed when everyone — no matter the level or role — feels that they can be heard. It allows people to feel comfortable contributing to the conversation, which can help a company achieve its goals. A 2017 Mckinsey study showed that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.
From the inside of the company to the outside, consumers place an importance on the values and messages that a brand represents and advocates for. A PR practitioner with diversity of thought will be able to create effective campaigns by understanding essential factors of an audience, such as cultures, disciplines, races, gender, ideals, disabilities, sexual orientations, age and any other characteristic that makes people unique. These differences should not divide us. On the contrary, an inclusive organization allows a company to bring differences to the table because those differences are what makes every professional unique.
Diversity and inclusion in UA PRSSA
The creation of UA PRSSA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2017 encourages us to look at diversity and inclusion as an ongoing process, rather than a one-time initiative. To pursue diversity and inclusion in every effort of the Chapter is an integral part of how the organization works. This committee’s goal is to give students, future PR professionals, a better understanding of diversity and inclusion and how both are important for their professional development.
We have many ideas to improve the practice of diversity and inclusion in our Chapter. We want to hear your ideas to achieve our goals. Please feel free to contact us, Makayla Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or Gloris Trujillo at email@example.com, with any comment or to inquire about the initiatives of our committee.
By Gloris Trujillo, co-vp of diversity and inclusion