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Two-thirds of PR hirers have unspoken bias, according to research

17th February 2017


PR should be ashamed of how little diversity and social mobility there is in the industry, with a recent survey of PR professionals and journalists working in the UK’s technology sector finding that 63% of respondents believe social mobility is not a reality. This insight correlates with the Social Mobility Commission’s report in January that Britain’s professions remained dominated by those from advantaged backgrounds.

PR firm Golin commissioned the survey of TechJPR members to gain further understanding on social mobility and diversity in the communications industry. Other key findings from the survey are that just 7% are proud of the current levels of diversity in their industry and 18% say that people of all backgrounds have an equal chance of finding work at present. More than two-thirds (68%) say unspoken biases affect hiring decisions.

Discussing how Golin itself tries to improve diversity, Laura Weston, marketing director at Golin, says: “We work hard on initiatives focused on attracting and retaining diverse talent, including our recently announced Golin B&B that helps interns with London’s housing costs. This survey demonstrates that such initiatives are essential for improving diversity and social mobility in the industry.”

Weston concludes that improving diversity is vital for the PR profession’s integrity and relevance: “Interestingly, the results also demonstrate the rising importance of addressing such issues. From these results, we can see improved diversity is a key element in maintaining peoples’ pride in their profession and the companies they work for.”

Methodology

The study interviewed 200 journalists and PROs from the TechJPR community – a network of communications professionals within the technology sector – to understand whether they believed social mobility and diversity was improving within their industry.

Key findings

  • 63% of technology PROs and journalists surveyed believe social mobility is not a reality in their industry.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) said unspoken biases affect hiring decisions.
  • Only 7% of respondents say they are proud of the current levels of diversity in their industry.
  • Fears exist the rising ‘gig economy’ will close even more doors to new talent.


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