Tackling Diversity and Inclusion in Communications: How to Foster an Inclusive & Equitable Workplace

September 23, 2019

This is the second post in a series of blog posts about how communications teams and agencies can ensure a diverse and inclusive workplace—and why it matters.

Diversity is becoming increasingly critical for success in today’s market. How can you create a plan to foster diversity and inclusion in your communications agency and team? It requires investment from the hiring department and beyond to not only bring in top talent from underrepresented groups, but to create an equitable work space for every employee to grow and thrive.

Here are some steps you can take to build a strong inclusive culture on your team that will last:

  • Lead by example: Ensure all high-level employees see diversity and inclusion as company values and do their part to implement the company’s diversity and inclusion practices. Management should reflect the growing diversity of an agency or team by promoting people from underrepresented groups to executive roles.
  • Recruit young communications professionals: Young communication professionals of color exist. An inability to find diverse talent is not an excuse. Brainstorm how to expand recruitment efforts and create a pipeline of talent from underserved populations. Attend a job fair at a Historically Black College or University, reach out to universities’ ethnic and minority social groups, encourage staff to join local chapters of national PR organizations, specifically those that represent minority populations (for instance, ColorComm).
  • Create mentorship opportunities: Create opportunities that foster personal and professional development, like mentorship programs and employee resource groups. Ensure that employees from underrepresented groups have a support system within your organization to help them succeed and advance.
  • Invest in diversity training: Consistently incorporate diversity training for all employees to ensure they understand their own conscious and unconscious biases as they interact with clients and colleagues in the workplace.
  • Set goals and measures: Set diversity and inclusion goals and develop measures to track success and hold those tasked with leading your efforts accountable. Clear, measurable goals are key to ensuring your practices are successful and sustainable.
  • Build from the ground up: Regardless of someone’s title in your organization, diversity and inclusion initiatives require buy-in from everyone! Whether you are an associate or a senior vice president, you can play a role in the development and implementation of inclusion initiatives. Make sure you are using everyone on your team to keep the diversity and inclusion ball rolling!

Diversity and inclusion aren’t just the right thing to do, it’s also been demonstrated to be good for the bottom line. Make sure you put in the work to ensure your communications team is as diverse and inclusive as it can be.

Stay tuned for part 3 of our series: Resources and Tools to Promote D&I.

By Devin Simpson, Senior Associate