The Taylor Bennett Foundation has further strengthened its relationship with PR membership bodies, the CIPR and PRCA. The organisations have offered reduced-price membership to the Foundation’s alumni in order to improve access to their services, but also to help deliver on their commitment to tackle the industry’s diversity problem.
The Taylor Bennett Foundation is a charity that provides traineeships, mentoring, and internships to BAME graduates. Over 200 graduates have been through their traineeship programmes and alumni now work for a variety of comms teams both in-house and at agencies.
Sarah Stimson, chief executive of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, said: ‘Access to membership bodies is important if the industry is to improve ethnic diversity. This commitment from the PRCA and CIPR demonstrates the appetite to diversify their membership.’
The lack of diversity is now a major sticking point in the industry, with statistics like 91% of the industry is white, being particularly hard to swallow. Though future generations of the industry are more diverse (in 18-24 year olds, the white workforce drops to 79%) there’s obviously more work to be done. PRWeek’s recent Power Book, in which 96% of the 404 industry leaders were white, shows how ingrained this issue is.
Access to industry bodies, like the CIPR and PRCA, help those from BAME backgrounds progress in their careers, furthering the initial work of the Foundation’s programmes. It also encourages more BAME grads to get into PR, knowing there is further opportunity as their career progresses, and helps to diversify the industry’s collective voice.
Matt Cartmell, Deputy Director General, PRCA, said: ‘We are delighted to further strengthen our relationship with the PRCA’s Charity of the Year, the Taylor Bennett Foundation. By offering its alumni a 50% discount on the cost of individual membership, we aim to support more BAME practitioners as they develop their careers as PR and communications professionals. And by making this announcement alongside the CIPR sends a clear signal of the importance of the Foundation to the growing diversity of the industry.’
Sarah Hall, CIPR President 2018, said: ‘Embracing candidates from all backgrounds isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good business sense. The Taylor Bennett Foundation is making a real difference to our industry and the success of their alumni is testament to the Foundation’s outstanding work. The CIPR is privileged to support the Taylor Bennett Foundation and our partnership will grow stronger as we strive towards a more inclusive public relations industry.’