By Suzanne Boys
Addressing diversity and inclusion has never been more important, especially in public relations. In line with national PRSA calls to increase diversity in the field, Cincinnati PRSA has made diversity one of its strategic goals for the past two years. To meet this goal, however, we needed to know more.
To that end, we distributed a diversity and inclusion (D & I) survey to its membership this winter. The rationale behind this survey was twofold. First, we hoped to better understand the diversity of our membership. Second, we hoped to assess the skills and interests of our membership on D & I related topics. What follows is a summary of our findings.
For context, here is some demographic information on the 51 respondents.
· 66% were Cincinnati PRSA members
· 45% were younger than 40; 51% are 40 years old or older
· 6% percent identified as LGBTQ+
· 6% percent identified as having some type of disability
· 73% identified as Caucasian; 24% identified as African American/black; 2% identified as Hispanic, and 4% identified as “other”
-On a Likert scale (1= not important; 5 = very important) rating how important diversity and inclusion were to respondents’ work, 86% rated diversity and inclusion a 4 or 5.
-On a Likert scale (1= not important; 5 = very important) rating respondents’ knowledge of diversity and inclusion, 59% rated their knowledge a 4 or 5.
-On a Likert scale (1= not important; 5 = very important) rating respondents’ diversity and inclusion skills, 55% rated their skills a 4 or 5.
-When asked if there is a lack of diversity in PR, 73% said yes, 10% said no, and 18% said they did not know.
The following charts shows what diversity and inclusion topics respondents are interested in and how they prefer to learn about those topics.
When asked if it would be helpful to establish affinity groups in Cincinnati PRSA, respondents were split between Yes (43%) and I don’t know (43%). When asked what affinity groups they might suggest, 70% suggested race/ethnicity, 60% suggested career point, 53% suggested LGBTQ+, and 30% suggested men in PR.
Overall, findings affirm the need to diversifying our membership. They also suggest respondents find D & I lacking, but very important to the profession of public relations. Respondents are slightly less confident in their D&I skills than their D&I knowledge. This supports Cincinnati PRSA’s goal of diversifying our programming.
As Cincinnati PRSA continues to work on its strategic diversity and inclusion goals, we would like to extend an invitation to join the chapter’s diversity committee. If you are interested in D & I issues, please contact our diversity chair, Suzanne Boys (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.