By The Hirons Diversity Team
Race, gender and age are key indicators of a diverse workforce, but the true definition of diversity lies in perspective.
Last year’s Public Relations Student Society of America National Conference in San Francisco hosted several sessions that focused heavily on the transition from a public relations student to a public relations professional.
One session in particular, PR Living Legends, included a panel of advertising and public relations agency presidents and CEOs who commented on the new age of public relations. This included dialogue regarding what they look for in new public relations and advertising graduates. They were looking for fresh ideas and unique perspectives. They were looking for those who knew whether or not they were a generalist or a strategist. Certainly, this caused many of the thousands of PRSSA students in attendance to return to their university and take the time to self-assess.
The speakers encouraged reflecting on life experiences — professional and personal — and working through how those occurrences have impacted your work ethic and the activities you have chosen to be involved with throughout your life. From this type of self-reflection, you should realize where your niches are focused. Are you an entrepreneur? Are you most interested in cause-related campaigns?
In an advertising and/or public relations agency setting in particular, a person’s unique perspective is part of what makes him or her an asset to the company.
Race, gender and sexuality are typical superficial characteristics we look to when trying to measure diversity. However, when discussing the definition of diversity, it is important to remember that a person’s unique perspective is the foundation of diversity. Your experiences shape your perspective, and it is your perspective that makes you a diverse entity. Imagine a world where there are no quotas for race and gender, but for perspectives.