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You’ve got to start somewhere

The first step on the ED&I journey is the most important.

By James Evelegh

You’ve got to start somewhere

Not having a large HR department is not an excuse for lagging behind on ED&I.

Whether you’re a large multi-national or a team of three, you can still help drive meaningful change. Indeed, ED&I should not just be parked with HR as a “people problem”; it has to be something everyone within an organisation lives and breathes and informs how all decisions are made.

Those are some of the lessons I took from our recent podcast interview with Sajeeda Merali, CEO of the PPA.

When I asked her what she thought of the current state of play with regards ED&I, her straight answer was, “not great” but, on the plus side, we’re in the right industry to be able to affect change through our reach and influence.

Listening to Sajeeda, there are four key things companies must do to become truly diverse and inclusive:

  1. Measure it: to be able to make any progress, you need to work out where you are now and where you want to be, then measure progress towards it. It doesn’t need to be overly complicated, she said, and references the BBC 50:50 project as a useful resource.
  2. Review your recruitment strategy and get creative. If your workforce all looks and sounds the same, that’s down to your recruitment. It’s something you can change.
  3. Look at your output: who is writing for you and who appears in the pictures you publish? Does the mix reflect society as a whole?
  4. Make a start: ED&I is a big subject and there’s always a danger that it gets kicked into the long grass. The first step is the most important, so … take it.

Don’t procrastinate, start somewhere and track your progress.

Addressing ED&I issues is not just the right thing to do, says Sajeeda Merali, there is ample research to show that it’s highly beneficial from a commercial perspective too.

(Finally, the fieldwork for mediafutures 2023 – the annual benchmarking survey – closes this week. To find out more, and to take part in the survey, please click here.)

You can catch James Evelegh’s regular column in the InPubWeekly newsletter, which you can register to receive here.