CLP Strategies Holds Panel Discussion with Communications Leaders on DEI
May 17, 2021 — As more companies join the national conversation to support racial equity, a majority of corporations are aiming to improve their employee diversity performance but just 20% disclose their current numbers, according to results of a survey by CLP Strategies, an international public relations firm.
CLP surveyed corporate professionals following a panel discussion on the challenges of communicating corporate commitment to racial equity. The May 6 event was hosted by the National Association for Multi Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC).
In a follow up survey, 53% of the respondents said their companies have adopted targets for future employee diversity. and 60% current track their current numbers. Respondents expressed mixed views on how well their companies communicate commitment to racial equity. Nearly 27 percent said they communicate “very well,” while 40 percent responded, “not at all.”
Panelists Welcome Greater Racial Transparency
The CLP / NAMIC panel, “Communicating a Commitment to Equity,” featured speakers from professional sports, financial services, and the public relations industry. CLP Strategies Consulting Partner Crystal Berger moderated the panel.
The panelists agreed that private industry leadership is emerging, especially in sectors that have a history of slow progress. On Wall Street, for example, companies are adopting more transparent hiring and promotion practices. At the Financial Industry Regulatory Association 50% of all candidates for new jobs and promotions must be people of color, according to panelist Ray Pellecchia, Senior Director of Strategic Communications at FINRA.
Elsewhere in the private sector, leadership diversity has been underway at the National Football League for decades. Roman Oben, Vice President, Football Development at the NFL, pointed to the Rooney Rule, a landmark diversity initiative adopted in 2003 to promote Black coaches and general managers. Off the field, the League sponsors social justice initiatives including programs in education and economic advancement, community and police relations, and criminal justice reform.
“Acknowledge the gaps”
“I see the NFL communicating the way corporations should communicate…by acknowledging the gaps,” said Carmella Glover, President of the Diversity Action Alliance. Referring to the NFL’s public statements on racial equity and player protests, Glover noted the League set itself up a “model” for other corporations, when it said it “made a mistake and we should have done this better.”
Concluding the discussion, Pen Pendleton, Co-founder of CLP Strategies said: “As far as we are concerned, this discussion is just beginning. We will continue to work on the communications issues around this agenda, helping organizations and business leaders position themselves as agents and ambassadors of change.”
To watch the full discussion, click this link.
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