Since February is Black History month, it is important to examine how diversity is intertwined with public relations. While our industry has made great strides in attaining a more diverse employee population, African Americans and women are still underrepresented. The Calvert Study, released this past fall, stated that women hold less than 1 in 10 top paid executive positions. Women only make up 18% of director positions within the top 100 S&P 500 companies, whereas 92 out of 100 CEO’s for these same companies are white males. Additionally, within the public relations field, there are low hire rates for African Americans, both male and female.
Public Relations is a global industry that demands diverse perspectives. In the PRSay article, “Diverging into Diversity: A Communications Strategy,” Larry Jones explains that companies are reluctant to move from the familiar to more diverse populations. Jones describes the importance of this idea by saying, “Diversity in communications also can mean building bridges to new audiences or tapping into new perspectives and ideas.” This statement is a central idea that can permeate through any realm of public relations. As public relations professionals, it is important to provide creative opportunities for our clients. With the help of people from different backgrounds with different experiences, we can provide the most innovative and comprehensive strategy for our clients.
Diversity in public relations is something that can always be improved upon. As young professionals, it is in our best interest to be continuously aware of the inequalities that all minorities may face in our industry. We must focus on changing these aspects to ensure the most inclusive community of public relations professionals. This will ultimately allow companies to provide a more complete plan for their clients.
Do you feel diversity is a problem within the public relations world? What steps can young professionals take to change these issues?
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Alex Crispino.