BAM publicly made a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Here’s our report after 12 months of change.
One year ago, BAM publicly committed to doing its part to increasing opportunities for people of all backgrounds. Acknowledging the longstanding problems associated with a PR industry that is predominantly White, BAM detailed how its staff, led by CEO and founder Beck Bamberger, would work to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in our industry and among the clients we serve.
“The responsibility to diversify what we see in the media falls on BAM and others in the PR/marketing industry,” said Jill Veglahn, our Head of People. “The reality is that we know an agency cannot properly advise companies and brands on how to communicate with the public if our team does not properly reflect the public.”
The BAM team committed to making change in a number of areas, including representation, opportunity, community, education and clients. A part of BAM’s original commitment was to publicly share updates. Here’s the update.
Representation: The BAM’s team is 43% BIPOC with an executive team that is 25% BIPOC and a leadership team that is 60% BIPOC. By the end of 2021, we are on track for the BAM team to be 50% BIPOC — a significant change considering just last year, BAM was 72% White and only 28% BIPOC.
Opportunity: We recognized the large role economic privilege has played when it comes to college internships in the PR industry. Research has proven that unpaid internships shut out entire populations who do not have the financial means to do unpaid work. We committed to offering only paid internships with the hope of removing that socioeconomic barrier, and ultimately, diversifying our industry.
Community and Pro-Bono: 35% of the guests featured in ““Dear BAMf,” our podcast, and 80% of our authors in BAM Book Jam, our book club, were BIPOC. Our marketing content was 71% focused on the BIPOC community. BAM signed on BLCK VC, an organization committed to the representation of Black investors at venture funds, as a pro bono client. By dedicating up to four hours a month to the organization, it was proudly featured in Forbes magazine.
While our CEO, Bamberger, dedicated her time to BLCK VC — our other leaders committed to doing their part. Veglahn, our Head of People, partnered with Qualified (formerly Two Wings) an organization that empowers survivors of sex trafficking and those at risk of being trafficked to identify and pursue their dream vocation through mentoring programs, life skills classes and career training workshops.
Education: Lauren Heneveld, our Senior Vice President, participated in a 10-course program called Safe Zone Project, designed to provide foundational LGBTQIA understanding and inclusion, and actively incorporated those learnings at BAM. BAM’s entire workforce participates in a monthly (and required) DEI training led by our internal DEI Committee and Collective, a Black-owned-led DEI consulting firm.
Clients: BAM used its position to encourage clients to engage in DEI initiatives, resulting in more than half of clients committing. BAM is also working to educate all of our clients (partners) on the importance of DEI education.
BAM’s efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion are continuous as we strive to make DEI a part of our cultural ethos. In one year, we’ve made significant progress through simple, yet impactful changes, in our hiring practices. We ask that our colleagues in the public relations and marketing industry join us in our intentions as it’s difficult to move a story forward without having the full story.
Have a DEI idea for us? We’re all ears! Email it to email@example.com.
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