Following on from its commitment last month to help accelerate the progression of Black and ethnic minority professionals within the PR industry, the PRCA has launched its Race and Ethnicity Equity Board (REEB).
Originally named the BAME Advisory Board, REEB is made up of 13 founding members including Rax Lakhani, chairman of the PRCA Diversity Network, and is led by new member of the PRCA Board of Directors, strategic communications consultant Barbara Phillips.
REEB has Standing Committee status within the PRCA governance structure following a vote of the organisation’s Board of Directors last month, ensuring that equality will now be a point of focus at every PRCA meeting.
A Term of Reference document has been launched outlining the REEB vision for the public relations industry at large as well as within the PRCA. The board will oversee updates to the CMS Accreditation scheme’s diversity module and work with the association to reflect its diverse audience in the panelists invited to speak at its events.
‘As founding Board members, our mission is to achieve both immediate and long-term proportional racial equity within the PR and communications industry,’ said Barbara Phillips of the aims of REEB.
‘We appreciate and support the work being completed in our industry around diversity but feel our work is best focused on race. This is where there is sustained damage and this is the aspect of our profession that needs singular attention, if every Black and racially diverse person who enters into the PR and communications industry is to enjoy an equitable opportunity to thrive and succeed unhindered.’
Of further changes to the PRCA Board of Directors planned prior to its AGM in September, director general Francis Ingham added: ‘We have spent the past few weeks listening to colleagues and hearing directly about the unacceptable levels of discrimination faced by Black and ethnic minority professionals in our industry. The truth is our Board of Directors has, until now, reflected the composition of our industry rather than our aspirations for it. I am grateful to Barbara and the founding members of REEB for their commitment to helping us achieve long-lasting and overdue cultural change in our industry.’