Have we made progress on Diversity in PR?

Would you benefit from a safe space to listen, reflect and contribute to diversity conversations that are happening behind closed doors?

If so, you’re in the right place. I invited Priya Bates to share news of the upcoming Diversity in PR conference with All Things IC’s readers.

The conference is taking place online on 14 October 2021 and we’re proud to be a sponsor. You can save 10% off tickets using the code ATIC10.

Priya is an award-winning professional communicator with a passion for driving strong performance from the inside out. As President and owner of Inner Strength Communication, she builds strategic internal communication, engagement, branding and transformational change plans that enable, engage and empower employees to deliver business results.

Priya is an Accredited Business Communicator, a certified Strategic Communication Management Professional, and was recognised nationally internationally by IABC for lifetime achievement and contributions to the profession. She is based in Toronto, Canada and you can find her on Twitter @PriyaBates.


I’ll hand you over…

Have we made progress on Diversity in PR?

I think we’ll all agree that 2020 was a memorable year. Between a global pandemic that changed our day-to-day lives; the protests and increased focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging after the murder of American George Floyd; and a political landscape that used social media to create divisions; our roles as internal communication and public relations practitioners became both critical and complex personally and professionally.

With Advita Patel and I, the fact that we also decided to start a new joint venture called A Leader Like Me to support women of colour seemed both daunting and destined – the right focus on diversity at the right time.

L-R: Priya Bates and Advita Patel.

We’ve been pleased to help many women of colour (many of whom happen to work in our profession) increase their courage and confidence to help them progress in their careers at the exact time when organisations are looking to increase diversity.

We also launched a Diversity in PR conference this time last year (October) hot on the heels of the global protests and the CIPR Race Report focused on the lived experiences of BAME practitioners.

We were emboldened to contribute to the important conversations about the lack of diversity in our own profession. We also knew that we needed to keep the discussion alive ….since in the past conversations around diversity were often quickly forgotten and did not translate to meaningful action.

As we planned for our second annual Diversity in PR conference, taking place October 14, 2021, we decided to focus on Making Progress.

The changes we’ve seen, the work that had been done, and the work still left to do.

Some may say things are changing too quickly while others (many from under-represented groups) feel like change is not happening quickly enough. The Diversity in PR conference asks all of us to open our eyes and pay attention to the impacts of the global diversity conversation on our own profession.

What is clear is that the conversation is not simply going away.

If fact, some may say it’s getting louder and broader inside and outside our organisations. Both online and offline, more individuals (both allies from over-represented groups as well as those under-represented) are speaking out about justice and calling out inequities.

In the past year alone, we’ve seen diversity take centre stage when talking about:

  • Global leadership and the clear lack of representation when it comes to gender, race, sexual orientation and ability
  • Kamala Harris, the first black/Asian/female vice president in the United States along with some stunningly diverse US government appointments and representative PR team
  • The Royal family and the global conversation on colonialism and racism prompting Prince Charles to promote an aid to increase diversity in the royal household
  • The devastation of the mass graves discovered at residential schools in Canada prompting increased focus on the country’s efforts towards truth and reconciliation with indigenous communities
  • Global outcries to hate crimes and comments – #BlackLivesMatter #LoveisLove #StopAsianHate #EveryChildMatters #WeAre15

As professionals who are seeing an increasingly global and diverse employee-base, customer-base and community-base, it’s important that we’re aware of the trends that impact our work. It’s our responsibility to pay attention. And it’s to our advantage to be ready to embrace the opportunities in front of us.


It’s with this in mind that we’re excited to bring this year’s edition of the #DiversityinPR conference.

  • A focus on our global associations and their research and planned efforts
  • The amplified voices of up-and-coming agencies that are using diversity as an advantage to capture new markets, drive innovation, and build their businesses
  • The important role PR professionals can play in the success of DEI efforts for their organisations
  • The benefits of engaging employees and customers that have long been ignored or misunderstood
  • The perspectives of PR practitioners who don’t see leaders like them or are new to the profession

These are important conversations that you should be aware of and contribute to regardless of your gender, race, ability or orientation. These are relationships practitioners will benefit from building in order to contribute to the conversation on belonging, justice and dignity that is starting to build.

A Leader Like Me conferences are a safe space to listen, reflect and contribute to the conversations that are often happening behind close doors. Our speakers are a special group selected because they want to share their experiences and expertise so that everyone can benefit.

We’ve purposely made the costs accessible in order to make it possible for everyone to join.

Diversity in PR speakers

In a world where so many try to divide, we hope to bring people together in a conversation that creates the change we want to see in the world. We hope you will join us Thursday, 14 October 2021.

Thank you Priya. Please see the Diversity in PR conference website to find out more. You can save 10% off tickets using the code ATIC10.

Post author: Priya Bates.

First published on the All Things IC blog 14 September 2021.



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