PRsay is featuring posts by a variety of thought leaders on the year ahead for communicators and the PR profession. These thoughts on diversity and inclusion first appeared in the January issue of Strategies & Tactics.
“An increasing focus on diversity, equity and inclusion — bringing these concepts to life in our corporate cultures, embedding them in our work and embodying them in our responses to challenging, fast-moving events that can impact corporate reputation, brand image, employee engagement, stakeholder trust and marketing outcomes.
With the dramatically changing political, cultural state of play in the United States and 47 percent of millennials believing that CEOs have a responsibility to speak up about important societal issues, it will be more important for companies to articulate their POVs with courage and authenticity.”
–Judith Harrison is senior vice president, Diversity & Inclusion, Weber Shandwick, New York. She is also president of the PRSA Foundation.
“Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) will be embedded in everything we do. It ties to retention and recruitment as well as meeting client expectations and a brand’s social purpose.
Cultural inclusion in the workplace will be a high priority for agencies and clients.
We will see more agencies creating new service offerings based on their clients’ needs to communicate to their stakeholders — primarily, to their employees — on issues relating to D&I in the present political climate. We will see more collaboration on addressing Diversity & Inclusion between industry and academia, and agency and client. This includes defining, measuring, communicating and living D&I. We will realize that D&I involves all of us — not some of us — and that it’s good for business.”
–Angela K. Chitkara, PR Track Director & CUNY Mellon Fellow, The City College of New York
“Companies will continue to search for solid ground at the confluence of intent and action as it pertains to diversity and inclusion. The business case for diversity and inclusion will increase in significance as issues continue to make headlines.
Companies making positive strides will look past the prima facie focus on inclusion cultivation within their organizations to see the possibilities that can be realized in innovation, engagement and performance. They will embrace diversity as more than race, gender and lifestyle to include all aspects that make their employees and customers unique, opening up the creative process and free exchange of ideas.”
–LaTricia Woods, APR, Founder, Mahogany Xan Communications, Chandler, Ariz.