Diversity and Inclusion 2023 Update
10th October 2023
In 2022 we made a number of commitments around improving our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a business.
We shared our first progress update last year, and said we’d continue to be transparent about our journey, both internally with our team and externally with our wider community.
We have learned a lot over the last twelve months on our DE&I journey. We’ve made some important changes to our policies and operational practices, and had some moments of pride, including achieving B Corp certification in June and receiving the highest possible score for gender pay in PR Week’s Pay Gaps Project in September.
But there is a lot more to do. The hard work continues and we know we need to push ourselves further over the next year to meet our targets.
So, where are we currently tracking?
Building a Diverse Team
Our Goals for 2027:
• Employees over 45: 15%
• Gender split – 50/50 at all levels of the business (Board, Leadership, Management, delivery team)
• Gender pay – parity
• Disability – 10% or more of workforce with a physical or mental impairment
• Neurodivergent: 15%
• Black, Asian, Mixed heritage, Other ethnicities: 20% White: 80%
• Sexual orientation – Maintain representation of UK and ensure our environment is inclusive
*These are benchmarked against the UK population stats
Where we are:
In our team of 27, the current diversity is 8% mixed/multiple ethnic groups increased from 5%, 12% with a disability, 4% LGBTQIA+, 8% are neurodivergent, 16% have caring responsibilities and our board is 60% female. We have also seen an increase in individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
We need to do more work across all these goals, one area in particular we aren’t tracking strongly on is increasing the age of employees over 45 in Alfred, we are currently tracking at 0. We are looking at ways to improve this.
Equal opportunities and inclusion
• Gender / Gender Reassignment -Work with groups and partner consultants in this space to ensure representation
• Diverse suppliers – Ensure to engage with a wider range of suppliers – increase by 20%
• Ethnicity pay gap – Build our team to be able to submit for this and ensure parity in 2023
Where we are:
Reaching new talent
We ensure everyone in the business has equal opportunities, we prioritise inclusion and encourage people to bring their full selves to work everyday. This year we have widened our talent pools, and worked with a variety of partners from Taylor Bennett, and Belovd for hiring. We are exploring working with the likes of PRMums, Careers After Babies, Braver, Brixton Finishing School and applying to be part of the Disability employer scheme in addition.
We have reviewed our job specs to ensure they are free from gender bias and have implemented skills based interview scorecards. Ensuring everyone has a fair chance of success based on their skills and values alone, eliminating the chance of unconscious bias affecting our hiring decisions.
We have developed a competency based framework to ensure consistency and fairness across training, development and pay, with a clear process mapped out on requests for promotions and salary increases.
Our maternity and paternity policy has been relaunched as a Family Friendly policy, which includes enhanced maternity/adoption pay for up to 24 weeks and paternity pay for up to 14 weeks. In addition, we relooked at what we offer for individuals who are undergoing fertility treatment as well as their partners. During this time we offer flexibility in working patterns as well as paid leave for treatment. We offer flexi-time for parents outside school term time, as well as our emergency leave for times you can’t plan. We also offer Peppy, a support for women going through the menopause, and flexible working to support symptoms.
This year our full mental health and wellbeing policy has been re-launched, as well as our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy, outlining our commitments as an agency as well as the commitments we expect from everyone at Alfred.
Gender and Ethnic pay gap
In 2022 we received a top score for gender pay, one of only four agencies that were awarded 100 as part of PR Week’s Pay Gap Project report. We submitted our gender and ethnic pay gap data to PR Week for the 2023 report, as we believe in transparency when it comes to pay. This year we received the highest possible score for gender pay.
Like many in the industry, we have more to do with regards to ethnicity, and this is the first time we have submitted data for this table. It remains a key part of our business plan, and we wanted to submit data as a statement of intent.
We have committed to discussing and driving diversity with our clients and partners, specifically having diversity on the agenda when it comes to the campaigns we develop and talent we work with. We are reviewing our supplier lists to engage with a wider pool of partners, and ensure those that we do work with share our values and commitments, we still have work to do here.
Mentoring, Apprenticeships and training
• Training and upskilling – Across unconscious bias, microaggressions and wider management support
• Mentoring – 20% of agency giving their time to mentoring in 2023
• Sharing our time – Engaging with schools and universities to host talks on the industry to expose and encourage people from different socioeconomic backgrounds to join the PR industry
Where we are:
We are currently working with 20/20 Change, a youth empowerment organisation, and have launched a year-long internship, training a candidate within the business. We have dedicated our time to supporting wider groups, and provide advice on getting into the industry. For example, talk2dan, an initiative to help young people break into the creative industry. Two of our team presented Alfred’s work with a Q&A, to help create awareness for careers in PR. Our team also visited UCL to showcase the work that is done within the PR industry and give students an opportunity to get involved in this.
Two of our team members are mentors for Taylor Bennett, with another two mentors for The Girls Network, whose mission is to inspire and empower girls from the least advantaged communities.
We have run all-agency training this year for all members of the team, from microaggressions and unconscious bias, to courageous conversations. How to call in and call out both team members and clients. This will continue throughout the next year to ensure all new team members receive this.
For people to bring their full selves to work it’s important we open up conversations around inclusion. As part of our commitment we are responsible for educating the team on DE&I. We do this in our daily actions but have a DE&I calendar where we hone in on particular topics and ask the team to engage in conversations. Running activities to increase awareness and break stigmas, this year we have a number of initiatives coming up for inclusion week, black history month and world mental health day.
We are still at the start of this journey, with more work to be done and will be updating on our progress through our blog to be transparent about where we are tracking.