It’s the 2nd January 2013. New year, new resolutions and new outlooks for life are officially in place.
Today I got comfortable in my desk chair for the first time in two weeks, opened my to-do list and taught myself how to touch type all over again. I’m in PR. I can do anything and be anything.
Well, so I thought. But, as a 25-year old mixed race female in food and drink B2B PR, it seems that no one is ‘backing’ me as I read this evening that Ignite PR – the voluntary networking group that seeks to lobby for diversity within the communications industry – is set to close after just four years.
Bieneosa Ebite, chairman and co-founder of Ignite, has blamed lack of time for the group folding, but makes clear that the network has achieved more than she imagined since launching – by releasing manifestos and building a database of more than 400 individuals. From gender and ethnic equality to fair work ethics and advice on recruiting, Ignite fired on all cylinders.
A group like this has to. Especially when PR Week and PRCA’s last census revealed last year that less than 5,000 professionals (from a pool of 61,000 working in our industry) are from black and minority ethnic heritages.
But, sadly these figures aren’t shocking; just off-puttingly accurate, which adds weight to the great shame of Ignite extinguishing.
In my view, I don’t think time would be a factor for the founding team if the membership and engagement levels were right; the website looks and feels stagnant. But, perhaps this news will jolt more people – myself included – to be more aware and become proactive in sustaining the momentum that Ignite began.