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Organizations, coalitions work to increase diversity in GR

Public Affairs Council survey reveals steep challenge; group has launched DEI initiative, and GR professionals are taking action

WoodyWoody

June 11, 2021
By William Ehart

Observers are not surprised to find a lack of diversity in the government relations profession, such as that documented in a recent survey by the Public Affairs Council. The Council found that the average share of public affairs staff at lobbying organizations who are people of color is just 17% (compared to 40% in the general population).

The real question: How many organizations are taking the right steps to address the problem, especially since George Floyd’s murder in 2020, versus engaging in tokenism?

“I see some people making efforts in earnest,” said Conrad Woody, partner and head of the U.S. corporate and government affairs practice at executive recruiting firm Odgers Berndtson. “But I think what happens is that people look for a short-term solution to the problem rather than doing the worthy labor to create equitable workspaces in general.