As a business owner and a public relations practitioner, the topic of diversity and inclusion is brought up on a regular basis. We talk about the need for a more “diverse workforce” and that we want to create “an inclusive office.” But what does that really mean?
I think we can all agree that diversity refers to race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender differences. But shouldn’t diversity also include things like age, ability/disability, education, skill sets and mindsets?
Without such an inclusive definition, job candidates may decide to not apply for an opening with your organization because not seeing themselves as part of the diverse mix may signal a culture they’re not welcome in.
According to the Public Relations Society of America, in its’ diversity and inclusion toolkit, the practice of public relations in the United States has undergone dramatic changes, but there remains a lack of diversity in communication management positions. Many studies indicate that the industry still struggles to attract young Black, Asian and Hispanic professionals to pursue public relations as their career of choice.
On two different occasions in the past few months, I have attended PRSA professional development programming where the topics focused on diversity and inclusion. And I ask the same question – if we continue to struggle to find young people of diverse backgrounds and abilities to join our profession, what are we doing to change that dynamic?
Diverse and inclusive teams bring a varied perspective to all aspects of your organization. Leaders committed to creating a truly inclusive environment, must do so deliberately and intentionally. And differently than how we have been.