In early 2020, as we celebrated 20 years in business, we took a close look at our culture and practices related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We charted our progress in hiring and training and recognized that there is much more we need to do, internally and externally, to build a more diverse workforce, foster our culture of inclusion, and drive positive, lasting change in our industry.
Why change is needed now
We are not alone in the industry when it comes to the need to diversify our workforce to represent the diversity of the populations we serve. A 2018 Harvard Business Review’s analysis* of the federal labor statistics in the US found the PR industry to be 87.9% White, 8.3% Black, 2.6%t Asian, and 5.7% Hispanic or Latino. Whereas, in the general US population, we see 60% White (and on the decline), 13.4% Black, 5.9% Asian, 18.5% Hispanic or Latino. The HBR article also cited the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles, despite being a female-dominated industry. Similarly, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)’s2020State of the Professionreport** stated that in the UK, only 9% of the PR industry is from a Black, Hispanic or Latino, Asian, and another Minority Indigenous and Ethnic groups, whereas in the general population they represent 14% of the UK population. It is time that we do more to ensure we have diverse teams that mirror our clients’ diverse customer base and overall population.
We need to know where we are today to understand where we need to go. And we know that transparency is key to ensuring accountability in addressing diversity and equity in our business and industry. For that reason, we are sharing our recent diversity data for our US and UK offices (other countries prohibit disclosing diversity data) which is voluntarily self-reported. We recognise that this is not yet comprehensive as it focuses solely on gender and generalised ethnicity, while there are many other areas of diversity to be addressed in the workplace. We plan to add more data including ethnicity data by level and will include our progress over time.
US: Race / Ethnicity
|Two or More Races||6%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||0%|
|Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander||0%|
|Prefer not to say||2.2%|
A path forward
Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategy is focused on diversifying our employee population from the top down, creating an inclusive environment where differences are celebrated, and aligning our services with our DEI values and vision.
By the end of 2020, we had made steady progress against key action areas, such as capturing and reporting our diversity data, conducting surveys and listening sessions with all offices and auditing our global people processes to better attract, hire and develop a more diverse team. We also joined the Diversity Action Alliance, a coalition of Public Relations and communications leaders joining forces to accelerate progress in the achievement of meaningful and tangible results in diversity, equity, and inclusion across our profession.
We have set specific goals that our leadership team are measured against. Along with a review of all our processes and programs, we are reviewing all our partnerships in collaboration with DEI consultants so that we’re making systemic changes within the business. Our goals include:
From the inside out
Every organisation deserves access to the resources they need to scale and succeed. This is the vision behind the Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program.
The Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program is directing up to $1 million in pro bono brand, marketing, and public relations services to qualifying tech and tech-enabled organisations that are minority-led or providing a product or service benefitting minority communities. Learn more here.
Engage with us
We can not do this alone. We want our clients and partners to be part of our DEI journey. If you want to collaborate with us and/or discuss our DEI strategy, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.