Babita Earle, MRS Main Board member and Chair of the DI&E Council, shares her thoughts on the establishment of the new cross-sector group.

I am happy to announce the launch of the MRS Diversity, Inclusion & Equality Council, which I am privileged to chair. The Council is a group of amazing people from across our sector, who have come together with a simple but important purpose:

To strive to be an industry that truly represents the world it seeks to understand.

Our success will be measured by the change we create, so having the right people at the table is crucial. The Council brings together representatives from various networks already working to amplify their members voices, as well as the client world and agencies, to collaborate, partner and learn from each other.

See the DI&E Council’s Statement of Intent and list of Council members

 “We do feel the enormity of the task and we  know it is going to take time, but I am confident  that with the right focus and energy we will start   moving forward. This is not optional.”

In my many conversations to date, with these organisations and beyond, I have discovered such passion and desire for change. Groups such as CORe, WIRe and MRSpride are doing impactful things through mentoring and regular events, so our job as the Council will be to amplify and identify common areas. Together we can drive faster progress.

I have also observed a real step-change in companies wanting to learn more, from simple steps like starting the conversation amongst employees about diversity and inclusion, to reviewing recruitment strategies and setting targets.

We are aiming to build awareness of all the good work that is happening, to make connections between people and organisations at the forefront of change, and to guide our industry on issues of representation, equality and accountability. We want to encourage progress through celebrating case stories and be fearless in lifting the lid on difficult challenges - we won’t shy away from having uncomfortable conversations.

The CEO Pledge, which asks business leaders to make five commitments towards creating safer and more representative workplaces, will continue to be at the core of how we are driving accountability and targets. The Pledge includes: publishing pay statistics annually, working towards government targets for women and ethnic minorities at board level and improving recruitment practices.

We do feel the enormity of the task and we know it is going to take time, but I am confident that with the right focus and energy we will start moving forward. This is not optional. Work has already started on specific initiatives, which include building a diverse speaker list and attracting a more diverse pool of talent into our sector.

We don’t have all the answers and will probably make some wrong moves; we know we have a lot to learn and understand. That is where we need you. We would love to hear from anyone with thoughts and ideas - we’re always up for a conversation.

Finally, I agreed to Jane’s request to partner with her on this because I have gained so much from my career in Insights. I  feel that the sector can offer so much to others too, but only if more people know about it, understand it and see it as a realistic option for them. Everyone should have the same opportunity, regardless of who they are, to succeed in research.

Contact the Diversity, Inclusion & Equality Council via

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