Diversity and inclusion survey open for Australian communications agencies

Scanlon Foundation and Think HQ are supporting a survey delivered by Dr Marianne D Sison to study cultural inclusion, diversity, and representation across Australia’s communications agencies.

The announcement:

Agency staff at all levels are invited to take part in a national online survey that aims to capture views and map perceptions and practices around cultural inclusion, diversity and representation across Australia’s communication agencies.

The survey is open to all communications, marketing, advertising and PR agency practitioners. Results will be shared with the industry to support consideration and adoption of effective diversity and inclusion strategies, practices and activities.

The project is being delivered by Dr Marianne D. Sison, Honorary University Fellow at Melbourne’s RMIT University, a PRIA Fellow and International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) member.

The survey was commissioned by the Scanlon Foundation, formed in 2001 to enhance and foster social cohesion within Australia through research, with support from purpose-driven integrated communications agency Think HQ. It has been endorsed by the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA), including its Registered Consultancies Group (RCG). All responses will be anonymous.

Dr Sison, who was the lead Australian researcher in the nine-country Global Capability Framework research project for the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, spoke with agency leaders to inform the survey’s development.

“This benchmark study will examine the makeup of the industry’s workforce and perceptions and practices around cultural diversity. As agencies are responsible for crafting stories, selecting talent and shaping public discourse, they play a key role in shifting the needle on representation,” Dr Sison said.

“The Media Diversity Australia Report recently highlighted the lack of diversity in Australian news and media. It is time to look beyond the media and find out how Australian communication agencies stack up in terms of cultural diversity.”

Scanlon Foundation CEO Anthea Hancocks welcomed the initiative as an opportunity to identify ways to positively impact inclusiveness, both in the industry and through its representation of people and stories.

“The Scanlon Foundation aspires to see Australia as a welcoming, prosperous and cohesive nation. One in two Australians were either born overseas, or have at least one parent who was. We’re a diverse country and engaging every member of our communities in public conversations has clear benefits.

“There is a wealth of opportunity for agencies, and the clients they work for, to leverage the cultural richness of Australia’s population. Seeking input from agencies through this survey will be an important first step in identifying where we are, and where we could be.”

The survey opened on Friday 21 May to coincide with the UN’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development and will close at 11.59pm on Sunday 6 June 2021. It should take about 20 minutes to complete.

All answers will be anonymous and kept confidential. Overall survey findings will be shared back with the industry.

Source: Extollo media release


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