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The role of recruitment in solving PR's diversity problem

Braver co-founders Darain Faraz and Mike Levaggi on the PRmoment podcast

Welcome to the PRmoment Podcast.

On today's show, I’m chatting with two of Braver's co-founders: Darain Faraz and Mike Levaggi.

Previously, Darain spent 11 years in-house at LinkedIn. Mike's career has included roles at Seventy Seven, Hope&Glory and Snap.

Alongside Sheeraz Gulsher, they launched Braver in September last year. Braver is a talent consultancy specialising in helping PR employers increase the diversity of their teams.

Before we start, here is a plug for our latest launch: our new subscription training service for senior folks within agencies' PRmoment Leaders. Do take a look and let us know if you like it.

Thanks also so much to the PRmoment Podcast sponsors the PRCA.

Darain and Mike, welcome to the show

3.30 mins Mike talks us through Braver’s approach to trying to help PR with its diversity problem.

6 mins Darain talks us through why he and his brother Sherazz launched People Like Us.

“My brother (Sheeraz) was baffled when he landed in the (PR) industry. He asked what’s going on? Why is it quite so homogeneous? We should be doing something about this. He was rightly furious. I’d become a bit apathetic about it.”

10 mins Do we believe employers in the PR sector want to be more diverse?

“The reality is that we’re inching along in our progress… The industry is keen to make progress, but it's not sure how to get there.”

12 mins What is PR’s ethnicity pay gap?

“PR’s ethnicity pay gap is 22.3 %.”

“There is obviously a point when people leave the sector…from the conversations we’ve had, it's because they have felt they weren't given the same opportunities and promotion at the mid to senior levels. Agencies have to do 2 things: hire intentionally so their workforces more accurately represent the audiences they are communicating to 2) make sure that their workplace gives equal opportunity for people to thrive.”

25 mins How are PR employers trying to become more diverse? What are they getting right? What are they getting wrong?

29 mins What does best practice look like when it comes to increasing the diversity of your PR team?

“For it to be effective, you need an ongoing dialogue between people across your organisation and senior leadership.”

“Public sharing of salary bands is really crucial. so important. We (Braver) refuse to work on roles where we can’t share the salary.”

33 mins Are Rooney Rule shortlists a good idea in PR?

35 mins Many PR firms are doing better at increasing the diversity of their employees, but are they getting the inclusion part wrong.

42 mins To what extent are clients, through procurement policies, only buying PR from agencies with diverse teams?

“There is a moral imperative.. but ultimately, it is a commercial imperative.”

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