FAIR Report finds communicators lack the knowledge needed to act on inclusion

Fair Report - Think HQ

Dr Marianne Sison said the FAIR report revealed major gaps between perceptions and practice

The 2022 Framework for Agency Inclusion and Representation (FAIR) Report has found Australia’s communication industry is ready to become more culturally inclusive.

They just don’t know where to start, according to new research released.

The report works to map the state of cultural inclusion across Australia’s communication sector, by measuring how culturally diverse stakeholders are included and represented within their teams and in the work they produce

With the communication industry playing such a vital role in shaping the stories our country tells about itself, it’s vital that it reflects contemporary Australia.

The FAIR Report was compiled by RMIT University honorary fellow Dr Marianne Sison with the support of agency partner Think HQ. The work is endorsed by both PRIA (Public Relations Institute of Australia) and IABC (International Association of Business Communications) and seeks to chart a course towards more inclusive communication.

Dr Sison said FAIR has revealed major gaps between perceptions and practice. She said: “The overwhelming majority – 97% – of respondents believe organisations should prioritise cultural diversity and that cultural diversity in the industry is extremely or very important.”

“But, when asked to provide some best practice examples of cultural diversity and inclusion initiatives, almost 68% could not provide a single example.”

“So, while there is a high awareness of diversity and the barriers to it within the communication industry, it’s not translating into action. Moreover, despite a growing number of practitioners from culturally diverse backgrounds, we’re still predominantly white, especially if we look at those in leadership roles.”

The Report also found that multicultural communication is still viewed as an add-on to ‘mainstream’ campaigns and budgets, and that communicators lack the agency to drive change within their organisations.

It recommends a range of actions to drive practical change, including investment in authentic community engagement, initiatives to empower staff and build more diverse workforces, and inclusion audits of organisations.

See also: FAIR survey to examine cultural diversity and inclusion in the communications industry

To Top