by Romana Shah
A while back I asked my former university lecturer her opinion on the lack of diversity in PR and her response was, “… despite having the motivation, knowledge, and commitment to succeed at the highest level, some of these students have had to settle for sub graduate-level jobs and give up their dream of working in PR because they just weren’t getting the interviews, let alone the jobs … Employers need to understand the benefits of a diverse workforce and be bolder in their recruitment.”
There is a lack of diversity in PR, but what I love about Flame PR is that we do not mirror this harsh reality. We are an agency that embraces diversity and recognises the potential it has to drive our business forward.
Being an international PR agency requires us to engage with people of different backgrounds – journalist, clients, and prospective clients. Our team is made up of native speakers of different countries which help us support our clients in different geographies.
From a social element, being amongst work colleagues who come from different cultures allows us to grow closer as a team and embrace differences. We are constantly learning new things about each other and I love how I can just be myself. For example, I am able to accommodate my prayers around my work schedule and I am always given the opportunity to celebrate festivities like Eid with the team.
I feel as though a reason for the lack of diversity is that sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Individuals should recognise that the different aspects of their identity are what companies want. Being from an ethnically diverse background should be seen as an advantage and not something that holds you back. You are more likely to be sensitive to cultural differences. As a communications professional, this skill is very important because you are dealing with companies that operate in different countries. You will be able to relate and tailor your messages to stakeholders within these countries which in turn will improve your relations. After all that is what PR is about!