Robert Ludke, Founder, Ludke Consulting; Fellow, The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement

In a previous IPR post, I argued that there is a business and societal imperative to integrate disability inclusion into environment, social, and governance (ESG) frameworks. These frameworks are increasingly used by the private sector and investors to assess the true performance of companies.

Here are a few of the recommendations for improving disability inclusion practices in the communications industry:
  • Launch a series of working group sessions: these groups should be made up of experts from the disability and investor communities.
  • Each session should be open to the public to view and should cover topics such as long-term value creation due to integrated employment and investment in adaptive technologies.
  • Further prove the business case for disability inclusion: while leading organizations have published powerful research making the business case for disability, more research is needed.
  • Improve measurement and disclosure: In addition to compliance-oriented indicators such as hiring quotas or sensitivity trainings, metrics on compensation, career advancement, and retention are needed.

Yeunjae Lee, Ph.D., Jo-Yun Queenie Li, Ph.D., & Wan-Hsiu Sunny Tsai, Ph.D., University of Miami
This summary is provided by the IPR Organizational Communication Resource Center

Dr. Yeunjae Lee and colleagues explored how internal communication impacted employees' perceptions of workplace discrimination based on employee experience (i.e., discrimination directed at the personal self) and observation (i.e., perceiving general discrimination in the workplace).

An empirical study was conducted with 453 full-time employees who identified as racial/ethnic minorities.

Key findings include:
  • Racial minority employees working in companies that practice transparent internal communication (when organizations provide employees with substantial, useful, and timely information and involve employees in decision-making) reported less experienced and observed racial discrimination in the workplace.
  • When internal communication is more transparent, employees report higher levels of justice in resource allocation, organizational policies, and information distribution.
  • Transparent communication facilitates a sense of belongingness among racial minority employees and is positively related to quality employee-organization relationships.

Kaila Marcus, University of Georgia
Within the past few years, systems of inequity and prejudice have been uncovered all around us. Modern movements toward equal opportunity and diversity have emerged globally, and it's more important than ever that disparities are identified and addressed at the source. In a 2020 survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. public relations industry is 87.9% white. In order to understand and dismantle systems of inequality, preexisting barriers to entry in the PR industry must be analyzed. 

While many organizations are making efforts toward inclusion, minority groups still face difficulty entering and advancing in the industry due to systematic discrimination, or deeply ingrained principles that unintentionally favor certain racial and ethnic groups. In the PR industry, a major systematic hurdle for minority groups is the popularity of unpaid internships. Many students of color have complicated financial situations that make it impossible for them to afford to take unpaid internships, which can be debilitating to their careers in the long run. 

Morning Consult tracked Americans' levels of trust in 18 major institutions.

A survey of 2,200 U.S. adults was conducted April 15-18, 2021.

Key findings include:
  • The most trusted institutions by Americans are the military (76%) and the scientific community (72%).
  • More Democrats (45%) than Republicans (42%) have trust in corporate America.
  • In October 2020, there was a 17-point gap between Republicans (53%) and Democrats (36%) when it came to trust in corporate America.
  • 84% of Republicans trust the police compared to 57% of Democrats.
  • 50% of respondents trust the U.S. government, compared to 39% of Americans in January 2021.

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