To improve DE&I, start with inclusion—not diversity

Lauren Tucker, Ph. D., shares how leaders who start with inclusion as their guiding principle rather than a numeric diversity target are more likely to find success.

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For all the progress the industry has tried to make in the last year on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), the numbers aren’t great.

In a report earlier this year from the Diversity Action Alliance (DAA), 78% of the PR and communications industry is white, and 93% of top comms leaders (CCOs, agency CEOs, and executive directors) are white. When asked if they had a chief diversity officer, 73% of organizations surveyed said “No.”

While this accounting of diverse employee numbers is important in revealing the state of play in the industry, these numbers don’t tell PR pros how to get to the next step. How do we change the industry to make it more welcoming of diverse employees?

The answer, according to DE&I expert Lauren Tucker, starts with “I”: inclusion.

“We get impact by focusing on the operations and inefficiencies that allow exclusion and bias to thrive in organizations,” she explains, sharing how her organization Do What Matters helps teams fight inequality in the workplace. “When we think about inclusion first, we think about that in comparison to diversity first or diversity management.”

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