The scheme funds access grants, bursaries, training and career development opportunities through the Taylor Bennett Foundation

London, 15th November: This week sees the launch of the initial fundraising stage for a new initiative aimed at supporting vital work to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the PR Industry. 

OnePercent is a fundraising scheme aimed at activating the collective contributions of many, as opposed to large contributions of few, giving anyone working within the communications industry the opportunity to make a contribution of 1% of their salary (through PAYE) to a fund administered by the Taylor Bennett Foundation

92% of the communications industry is white -- compared to 80% of the country at large -- and People Like Us, OnePercent and PR Week’s recent Ethnicity Pay Gap report showed that non-white employees are paid 77 per cent of the mean average. 

OnePercent is based on the idea that this privileged majority could fix the problems of the underprivileged minority by donating a small amount, relative to their pay, like one percent of their salary.

This money will help fund bursaries, access grants and continued training for PR professionals or those looking to enter the industry from a black or minority ethnic background. Launch partners include Edelman, Pretty Green, Ready10 and The PR Network.

Melissa Lawrence - CEO, Taylor Bennett Foundation “Taylor Bennett Foundation is proud to be a partner of the One Percent initiative and I'm incredibly excited to see the impact it's going to have on the people it supports and the PR industry overall. Diversity has moved at a glacial pace for many years, but now is the time to speed up the pace of change.”

Lela London - Co-Founder and journalist:

"It felt like every person, in every industry, wanted to do something to support diversity and inclusion last year, but many struggled to understand what they could do. We wanted to create a 'what' that was simple, powerful and long-term. One Percent is exactly that. Donating 1% of your salary may feel small to an individual, but it's incredibly significant as a collective."

As a movement, OnePercent says we should not only take collective responsibility for the failure of our industry, but do something about it.

Increasing diversity within the communications industry benefits individuals and businesses. If we aim to connect and sell to an increasingly diverse populace, diversity of thought and voice is imperative. And if we want the best talent to do so, we can’t afford to ignore or exclude those who may not look or think the same as us.

This is an industry-wide issue, and threatens its future. It needs an industry-wide solution.

The opportunity

  • For individuals - Most PRs and people in general are feeling a sense of responsibility and helplessness over the lack of diversity or fairness in the wider world. This is a simple way for anyone to give back and make a difference, and to help pave the way for diverse talent in the industry.
  • For businesses - By investing in diverse talent as a business, not only will the company become more appealing to diverse employees as a result, but will also reap the benefits of the training and support they receive.
  • For the industry - The PR industry is missing huge swathes of talented future PRs because it isn’t perceived as a viable career option for most. 

How will OnePercent help?

  • Expanding Taylor Bennett Foundation programmes - Expanding the work that Taylor Bennett Foundation does in providing a first class training programme and summer internship programme within the PR & comms industry.
  • Education initiatives - Funding, supporting education initiatives (virtual careers fairs/work experience weeks) and networking events.
  • Bursaries - For diverse students who want to study a PR or communications related degree.
  • Access grants - Travel and relocation costs reimbursed to attend interviews for jobs in the industry or move to e.g. London.
  • Training - A training fund for those who want to gain accreditation or enhance their professional development.

What does OnePercent want to achieve?

  • OnePercent wants to have an inclusive and diverse industry which mirrors the wider population. Open to all, relevant to all, with equal opportunity for all. 
  • We want the media industry as a whole to include voices and ideas from all different backgrounds, setting the tone for the future, rather than becoming increasingly out-of-touch.

How to get involved

As a business, please contact [email protected]  or [email protected] to become a OnePercent employer and/or partner. For more information, click here.

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Notes to Editors:

Statements and quotes from OnePercent founding partners

PR Network - Full partner

Founding Partner, Nicky Regazzoni

‘We’re thrilled to be a launch partner for OnePercent as we see its potential to catapult the many successful schemes already being run by the Taylor Bennett Foundation.

To create a more ethnically diverse industry, we need to get more people in at the start - and keep them there until they reach the top. PRCA and PRW data shows change has been glacial. To speed it up, TBF needs funding, for which it relies on the generosity and patronage of a small number of individuals and firms. 

Rather than asking a few people to give a lot, the beauty of OPC is that it works on the opposite principle. The financial ask is set low to be affordable for many people working in PR, depending on circumstances. However, if enough employers and employees sign up it could create enough funding to make a huge difference.

There’s been a lot of talk and genuine good intentions about diversity, and now it’s time for us all to put our money where our mouths are.’

Pretty Green - full partner

Group Managing Director, Sarah Henderson

"We are proud to be a founding partner of One Percent. It's a brilliantly simple idea that gives all individuals at the PrettyGreen Group the opportunity to take action and give something back. We would love to see all agencies get behind this initiative and unite in the ambition to have an inclusive and diverse PR industry."  

Ready10 - full partner

Founder, David Fraser

“We are long-term supporters of the Taylor Bennett Foundation and have been since Ready10 was formed five years ago. We have had several of their brilliant alumni join our team over the years and we know how valuable the charity’s work is and how it provides a vital platform and support structure for young people seeking to get into the industry. Their work is needed now more than ever and we are really proud to be part of this scheme”

Edelman - full partner

Executive Director and Head of UK Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Satyen Dayal

“It has been incredible to see the level of positive action to increase ethnic diversity across our industry, particularly over recent years. We all know there is still much work to do, and our individual efforts and company-wide commitments remain a priority. At the same time, this model of collective action inspired by One Percent will be a catalyst for change for many years to come.”

Statements and quotes from OnePercent Founders

Lela London - Co-Founder and journalist

"It felt like every person, in every industry, wanted to do something to support diversity and inclusion last year, but many struggled to understand what they could do. We wanted to create a 'what' that was simple, powerful and long-term. One Percent is exactly that. Donating 1% of your salary may feel small to an individual, but it's incredibly significant as a collective."

Mike Levaggi - Co-Founder and EMEA Consumer Comms Lead, Snap

“I think it is clear that there is a diversity issue in our industry. And while I am glad to see people starting to take note, and brilliant initiatives like the ethnicity pay gap report, and People Like Us raising awareness of this issue, it still seems that the people driving the majority of the change, are the discriminated against minority. 

That shouldn't be the case. And recognising the issue, isn’t enough. The last few years have clearly demonstrated the need to act, and while the impetus for people like me to act should have happened before - and while there is no excuse that it didn't -  I'm hoping that it can still be better late than never.

It's not just important for philosophical, social or ethical reasons, it's important for the future success of our industry.

It is time for those that have benefited from this privilege, and who think that is wrong, people like me - to do more. 

This initiative will support both entry and continued progression for PR staff from ethnically diverse backgrounds, and it will continue to fund the brilliant work from the Taylor Bennett Foundation. 

It will also crucially give agency staff who want to support diversity in our industry a really easy way to do so. 

This is a call to action. We hope every agency in the country will get onboard and allow their staff to donate through Charitable Giving.”