Don’t forget invisible diversity in a globalised economy, says equality chief
Thu, 19 Apr 2012
Ensuring diversity in recruitment is important in a globalised market, because “you can’t tell by looking at someone” what their heritage or skills are, says Sandra Kerr, director at equality body Race for Opportunity.
Kerr was speaking at a London event last night organised by Ignite PR, a network promoting cultural diversity in PR, hosted by PR agency Red Consultancy.
She gave the example that by looking around the attendees at the event, she had no clue how many different languages were spoken – a potentially valuable skill when dealing with overseas markets.
Ignite founder Bieneosa Ebite, also the managing director at Bright Star Public Relations, told Recruiter that there are “plenty” of diverse candidates out there and that “the [PR] agencies need to forcibly tell their [recruitment] agencies – who they are paying” that they should be working hard to access these.
She also said that a lack of diversity in PR “questions the long-term sustainability and relevance of the industry… a homogenous workforce is not good for the industry”, commenting that diversity was not just a “social and moral” issue, but one that the industry had to keep in touch with “because it makes good business sense”.
Mike Morgan, chief executive of Red Consultancy, said that when he started in PR, its staff was “almost exclusively from the home counties… let’s face it, to do public relations we’re going to have to reflect the public”.
Chartered Institute of PR chief executive, Jane Wilson, also speaking at the event, was excited about the potential for change in her industry welcomes the changes, wryly adding at the end of her speech that the industry will “let the journalists catch up with us” once solid results are achieved.