16th February | Nathan Nye back

Equality and diversity in PR

Etta James, perhaps more famously, and more pertinently than James Brown, once sang: “This is a man’s world, but it would be nothing, nothing. Without a woman or a girl.” In the current climate we must all look inwards at our industries and ask the questions; are we fair with equal opportunity and do we have parity in terms of pay? Having started as an intern at another agency, a few years back now, I was in an office of 15 women with me and the Financial Director being the only guys. During that time I naturally thought the opposite to the above song’s lyrics and never would have thought the industry needed to ask the above questions… but what if we did? The PRCA’s Diversity and inclusion Guidelines were launched this week and show there is a 64%/36% female/male gender split, but rather ashamedly, the average annual salary for the PR profession’s women is £9,111 less than for its men. Ensuring equal pay is a question for senior management, however there are ways to offer equal benefits, opportunities and development for all: Flexible Hours: Why not offer staff flexible working hours so they can arrive at work later and leave later and vice-versa. This will show your PR-pros a high level of trust and give them freedom to live their lives a little more. There is of course the option to work form home, if you have the discipline that is. Gratitude: End of year bonuses and demonstrations of everyday gratitude such as small value gift vouchers, offer workers something to work towards, and it is easy to define how they are calculated or distributed in an internal document. Development: Formal reviews are an easy way to identify ways for professional development and then you can tailor career paths for each member of staff accordingly. Using company resources, like people, to offer training and bringing in outside help when necessary is another easy way to offer equal opportunity and essential for staff to flourish. Staff away days are also great bonding exercises and brings the team together. Rewards: Why not reward long service with extra holidays or the option to take a sabbatical? Although it may take time for the PR industry to do the right thing and close the pay gap we can start by providing equal and open opportunities and benefits. It’s easy for me to say this as, fortunately, I’m now working at a company that thinks this way.   Nathan Nye

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