PRs from ethnically diverse backgrounds feel discriminated against at work, finds new research
A large number of ethnic and minority professionals working in the communications industry are regularly made to feel uncomfortable at work due to their background, according to research from the Taylor Bennett Foundation (TBF) and IPSOS Mori.
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This landmark research report from the diversity charity supporting ethnically diverse young people to pursue careers in communications and market research company IPSOS Mori makes for stark reading. A high percentage of the 218 report participants from diverse backgrounds shared that they feel both excluded and discriminated against at work:
80% of graduates from an ethnically diverse background shared that they had been made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace at some point during their careers.
75% of respondents had experienced demeaning language or hurtful comments related to their ethnic background. Over half (54%) of respondents said their company had provided no provisions for cultural or religious needs, such as accommodating religious holidays or prayer rooms.
71% of respondents felt their ability to progress within their organisation had been limited by issues related to ethnic background and gender.
65% of respondents said they had experienced snubs at work due to their ethnic background.
Over half (54%) of respondents did not feel comfortable or trust HR processes to raise their concerns. 50% of respondents have considered leaving their jobs as a result of prejudice.
Taylor Bennett Foundation chair Sarah Pinch commented on the ‘deeply troubling’ results:
‘No one should be made to feel awkward and uncomfortable at work, and especially not due to their ethnicity or religious beliefs. There is a huge amount of work still to be done and we call on everyone in the PR and communications industry to take these findings seriously.
‘TBF has been supporting organisations and individuals for 15 years and our mission is to create a diverse and inclusive communications industry. TBF offers practical support to help organisations wishing to evaluate how they can attract and better serve employees.
‘Studies have shown that when organisations embrace diversity it leads to a 20% increase in innovation and a 35% increase in performance compared to their competitor. In addition to the commercial benefits of creating a more inclusive work environment, there is also a moral imperative to provide a safe and welcoming workplace for every professional, regardless of their background. I am proud to have worked in this industry for more than 20 years, but I am embarrassed by this research. It is deeply troubling that the lived experience of our colleagues is so very poor. We must do a lot more to improve, attract and retain diverse talent.’
Sparked by these findings, the Taylor Bennett Foundation will produce a full review and publish recommendations for adoption by the PR industry on improving diversity as well as supporting the wellbeing, prospects and job satisfaction of those from minority groups.
Read more about the research here on the Taylor Bennett Foundation website.
For more on the work of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, watch our accessmatters session with Melissa Lawrence here and read our previous Spotlight interview.
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