PRFest has launched the DRIVEN Pledge to help tackle inclusion, diversity and equality issues within the PR and communications industry.
The DRIVEN Pledge tool is available free to industry leaders and professionals working to make change in their organisations and follows the launch of the DRIVEN Framework at PRFest in June.
Founder Laura Sutherland cites insight shared during this year’s panels – including Reuben Sinclair co-founder and managing director Rohan Shah’s ‘How to recruit based on values and purpose’ and the Taylor Bennett Foundation chief executive Melissa Lawrence, PRCA director general Francis Ingham, CIPR President Jenni Field and CIPR chief executive Alastair McCapra discussion of accountability – as major contributors to the DRIVEN Pledge: ‘We had really great conversations around challenges and solutions this year. This insight and content turned into the Pledge, with a view to getting practitioners to commit to change.’
‘Being collaborative is essential in my view,’ believes Laura. ‘The final event, featuring CIPR, PRCA and Taylor Bennett Foundation, was geared to being an industry-wide conversation to discuss accountability, but it was also an opportunity to be aligned and to outline why and how leaders and individual practitioners should be making progress in their own way.
‘It was essential to have these organisations involved, and to have their endorsements. As an active industry ambassador for both CIPR and PRCA, I know how important it is for both organisations to be on the same platform, for such important conversations.
‘I’ve publicly declared my pledges and now I urge practitioners, teams and agencies to make theirs!’
Francis Ingham said: ‘Our industry has faced some very hard truths in recent months about the levels of discrimination faced by Black and ethnic minority professionals. It’s essential we all proactively play our part to help the industry achieve the aspirations we have for it. I urge members and the wider industry to take the DRIVEN Pledge so we can hold each other accountable in achieving workplace diversity and inclusivity.’
For Melissa Lawrence at the Taylor Bennett Foundation, change has been too slow so far: ‘The PR industry has had an inconsistent record of successfully delivering Diversity and Inclusion programmes. Progress has been made, but at a glacial pace. PRFest’s new DRIVEN Pledge gives industry leaders a roadmap to create real change through well-meaning action.
‘This resource is fluid and allows businesses to adapt it to suit their organisations individual needs. Now is the time for change!’
Find out more about the DRIVEN Pledge on the PRFest website, and watch the video outlining the aims and inspiration behind it. For more on the work of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, read our interview with chief executive Melissa Lawrence here.