Our ESG Plan: People
making good thingshappen
for our team, society, clients & suppliers
We were founded on a philosophy of putting people first – before profit, before growth, before fame – because we firmly believe that if you look after peoplethe best you can, then everything else will surely follow.
To ensure we make good things happen for the people who make WPR the brilliant place it is, under our ongoing ESG commitments, we pledge to continue to:
- Operate with one of the lowest billings per head in the PR Week Top 150 agencies, by design, not default, ensuring – through actions not words – that our team enjoys a work-life balance
- Guarantee that none of our team members will ever be classified as self-employed, none will ever be on a zero hours contract and none will ever earn less than the living wage
- Review salaries every 12 months, taking inflation, benchmarking data and performance into account, making every effort possible to keep pay brackets at the higher end of the local market
- Have a dedicated team wellbeing lead, charged with delivering a packed wellbeing programme of events spearheaded by our Thrive committee, under the stewardship of our Director of People and Planning
- Provide free and easy access to Mental Health First Aiders, time off for therapy, personalised mental health support and company-paid access to a wellness app of choice, as well as open dialogue about mental health in a bid to end the stigma still surrounding the subject
- Offer wellness grants each year, enabling the team to spend up to £100 on anything that will improve their wellbeing
- Run the Live Free Fund, with two or three people a year receiving up to £4,000 to a make a dream trip or experience come true, in memory of treasured former colleague Zara Free
- Make available emergency, home deposit, green improvement and fertility loans
- Offer company-paid health cash plans, death in service cover and enhanced pensions, as well as ensuring the team is never asked to contribute to team gifts (they are all on us)
- Provide hybrid working, flexible working hours, flexi hours, the opportunity to buy and sell holiday, and paid emergency care leave
- Focus on learning and development with each team member receiving training to the value of £7,400 per annum, alongside paid study leave, monthly coaching culture check-ins and fortnightly learning lunches
- Deliver a holistic training programme spanning environmental, societal, behavioural, professional and developmental topics
our goals for 2023/24
By 31 March 2024, our specific goals are to have:
- Retained a placing in the regional and national Best Companies to Work for league tables
- Become a Sunday Times Best Company to Work For
- Won at least one industry award connected to our people-first pledge
- Delivered below industry average team attrition rates
We are committed to fairness, equality of opportunity and diversity, but we recognise that we have a lot of work to do if we are to build a team that is truly representativeof all sections of society by 2028.
To date, we have collated DE&I metrics and understand the make-up of our team. We are now in the process of correcting the groups for which we under-index and championing belonging and understanding for the minority groups for which we over-index, including LGBTQ+ and neurodivergence.
correcting the groups for which we under-index
Our goal is to increase the non-white members of the team by increments over the next five years:
As of 2023, our female-dominated board works alongside three diversity and inclusion consultants who together ensure our outputs and approaches are inclusive and recognise diverse audiences. We have a DE&I committee that represents a cross-section of minority groups within the agency and advises the board via our Director of People and Planning. In addition, each board member has completed the PRCA Racial Equity and Culture Change Programme.
We also operate blind recruitment, present diverse interview panels and regularly obtain anonymous team feedback on the inclusivity of the agency. DE&I is also included as part of all new starter introductions.
However, to meet our above goals, we know we need to do more, much more. This is why we have committed 1% of net profits to initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion, working closely with two exceptional not-for-profit organisations:
- The Taylor Bennett Foundation, which exists to encourage people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to pursue a career in communications
- 10,000 Black Interns, which pledges to transform the horizons of young black talent with paid internships across more than 25 sectors.
As part of our ESG commitments, every year, we will:
- Dedicate two of our work experience placements to individuals applying to us via 10,000 Black Interns
- Host a Taylor Bennet Foundation Summer Stars Programme
- Run a Taylor Bennett Foundation PR Masterclass
- Contribute to the Taylor Bennet Foundation mentoring program
- Participate in the CIPR reverse mentoring initiative
- Operate a broad outreach programme to increase understanding of PR as a career choice, working with local schools and colleges predominantly but not exclusively in areas where we will be able to better connect with the groups for which we under-index, with the aim of delivering a minimum of 12 talks, enabling us to connect with at least 75 diverse individuals
- Host at least one T Level student, via Sandwell College
- Dedicate at least two of our fortnightly learning lunches to listening to our black, Asian, mixed race or other ethnic minority diverse colleagues who want to share their lived experiences with the team
OUR PLEDGE FOR 2023
We recognise that the PR industry is shamefully lacking in diversity – 91% of PR practitioners are white – and believe we have a role to play in changing that. By the end of 2023, we aim to have created a Midlands-wide DE&I steering group, chaired by WPR, that will see some of the largest marketing-related employers in the region come together to tackle one of the most pressing challenges facing the sector.
CHAMPIONING THE GROUPS FOR WHICH WE OVER-INDEX
The minority groups for which we over-index include the LGBTQ+ and neurodivergent communities.
Our goal is to champion understanding of these groups through the societal strand of our learning and development programme, and through the recommendations of our DE&I committee.
our goals for 2023
By end the end of 2023, we aim to have:
- Run two outsourced training sessions to broaden our collective understanding of our neurodivergent colleagues: “Let’s talk about neurodiversity” and “neurodiversity for managers”
- Invested in equipment and facilities to help our neurodivergent team members, including the creation of quiet rooms
- Dedicated at least one of our fortnightly learning lunches to listening to our neurodivergent colleagues who want to share their lived experiences with the team
- Completed gender diversity training with Mermaids, a charity dedicated to helping gender diverse children, young people and their families since 1995
- Offered everyone the opportunity to have pronouns included on their email sign-offs
- Introduced unisex toilets
We recognise that we are nothing without our clients. Under the stewardship of our Client Experience Director, we are committed to being open and honestabout our services, targets and SLAs, and to be clear on pricing.
We also pledge to provide each and every client with:
- Formal quality control processes – our team knows that no piece of work leaves our building without having had a second pair of eyes on it first
- The chance to feedback – our Client Experience Director operates an effective ‘feedforward’ model, with every client offered the opportunity for six-monthly meetings, away from the day-to-day team, to discuss learnings, performance and any areas for improvement
- A team that is trained in anti-bribery and corruption laws
- Honest, regular evaluations – focusing on continuous service improvement
- An ethical marketing policy – ensuring our combined outputs are legal, decent, honest and truthful
- A robust approach to the privacy and security of data
OUR GOAL FOR 2023
To deliver above industry average client retention rates, with our Google reviews linked to our website for all stakeholders to see.