Last year we committed to build a more diverse workforce, foster our culture of inclusion, and drive positive, lasting change in our industry. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) remains a top priority for Hotwire, and knowing transparency is key to ensuring accountability, we’re committed to regularly give an overview of the investments made to address systemic inequality from a race/ethnicity lens.
This aligns with the Diversity Action Alliance pledge we signed last year along with other public relations and communications leaders who are joining forces to accelerate progress in the achievement of meaningful and tangible results in diversity, equity and inclusion. The DAA challenged agencies, consultancies and company communications teams to make our industry as diverse as the United States by 2025. We are proud to show that our current US team now aligns with the latest US census.
Our diversity data today
|Two or more races
|Other Ethnic Minority
We were also aware that looking at our diversity data across our entire team is not enough. So we set a target last year of having more than 25% of our mid to senior staff being Black, Asian, Hispanic or from another Ethnic Minority. Today, in the US, we are now tracking ahead of our goals, with 35% representation of our mid to senior team.
So, how have we been able to make progress?
We’ve not only focused on building a more diverse workforce, but we’ve also committed to fostering a culture of inclusion, and driving positive, lasting change to address systemic inequality. Over the past year we’ve maintained dedication to these goals by focusing on three key areas – workforce, workplace and marketplace impact.
Start with talent sourcing & recruiting: find new communities
This year we’ve made a significant investment in changing our recruitment practices to increase diversity among our candidate pool. We’re still hiring the absolute best candidates for the role regardless of race, ethnicity and sexual orientation, but it was important to us to broaden our pool for our open roles.
- Removing location requirements from job roles and actively recruiting in cities with more diverse populations
- Changing up role requirements such as PR agency experience, adding new non-atypical agency skillsets and removing specific educational requirements from each role (i.e. we no longer list a four year degree as a requirement)
- Acting as mentors for programs like the Lagrant Foundation and participating in events like the PR Council Job Fair to – as the Lagrant Foundation says – open the proverbial “door” and identify new talent from underrepresented minorities to join Hotwire
- Undergoing Conscious Recruitment & Bias Mitigation Training Program for all mid-senior staff
- Reaching out to marketing and communications professionals working in other industries to introduce Hotwire
- Ask our team for referrals and recommendations monthly and actively pursue introductions to potential candidates
Provide safe places for employees to learn and share
We’ve partnered with Chelsea C. Williams, a DE&I Consultant leading our Conscious Recruitment & Bias Mitigation Program. Through this program, Chelsea is not only leading training, but also oversees monthly programming for all staff to expand their awareness and provide information and resources on diversity, equity and inclusion topics such as psychological safety, intersectionality and Pride awareness. We are continuing this education programming through 2021.
We’re also supporting opportunities for our employees to make change happen in their communities, for example:
- Supporting HUE, which is a platform built to advocate change, by amplifying voices of color working in marketing.
- Our Minneapolis team co-founded The Twin Cities PR BIPOC Career Explorer – which is an externship program designed for BIPOC students interested in the practice of public relations and communications.
Work to address systemic inequality more broadly
Earlier this year we launched the Hotwire Ignite Possibility Program (HIPP), an initiative that enables us to contribute to making an equitable society beyond the comms industry. We committed $1M globally in pro bono brand marketing and public relations services to tech and tech-enabled organizations led by or supporting minority communities. In the US, we’ve selected six companies for the initial cohort.
We know there is more that we can do
While Hotwire US has made meaningful progress in ethnic and racial diversity this year, we’re not going to stop. We’re going to continue to look at and refresh how we operate, and we’re going to look at other ways to invest time and money into building a more diverse workforce at Hotwire and across the industry. We recognize that there is still more that must be done.
We also know we need to go beyond racial and ethnic diversity and will be broadening our focus over the coming months to look at a broad section of identity to make Hotwire an inclusive place for everyone.
We cannot do this alone. We want our clients and partners to be part of our DE&I journey. If you want to collaborate with us and/or discuss our DE&I strategy or yours, please reach out to us at email@example.com.