Those of you who have heard me talk about diversity and inclusion before will know that I strongly believe that research, as the sector that represents people, should be especially accountable for making sure its own people are representative. We have the insights and we should be leading with those insights in our own organisations.

Of course we still have a long way to go, as last year’s survey of members’ experiences shows, but I am always encouraged that whenever I talk about the issues we need to address, the sector responds positively and – more importantly – takes action.

Two years ago 25 companies signed our original Inclusion Pledge (then called the CEO Pledge) to work towards a more diverse future for research. When I challenged the audience at the MRS Awards dinner, in the heady old days when we could all get together, to join them, another ten signed. In the week since we broadcast a panel session of some of the existing signatories discussing their progress, eight more have approached me about coming on board.

Our Diversity, Inclusion & Equality Council have set a target of reaching 100 signatories by the end of this year, so please do get in touch if you’re interested. We want to hear from the leaders of businesses of all sizes. As Vanella Jackson, who chaired last week’s panel and has been instrumental in driving the Inclusion Pledge forward, says; “Accountability is going to be the fuel that accelerates our progress.”

In February’s ‘special edition’ of MRS News we are sharing a link to a full recording of the CEO Pledge Panel session, which is well worth catching up on if you missed it, as you’ll hear words of wisdom from Kantar’s Amy Cashman, Ipsos MORI’s Ben Page, Zappi’s Steve Phillips, GfK’s Warren Saunders and our latest signatory Bob Qureshi from i-view Studios – as well as from Vanella and me.

Finally, please do look at the programme for Impact 2021. We’ve worked hard to make this our most diverse annual conference yet – and with our new virtual networking platform there’s a real possibility that I may ‘see’ you there!


You may also be interested in:

MRS Diversity, Inclusion & Equality Council

Progress report on CEO Pledge

Inclusion, diversity and equality research and report 2020  

Recording of MRSpride’s first trans insight summit

Latest MRSpride OUTsights podcast featuring the founders of CORe

Information on our partnership with the #10000BlackInterns initiative

What is it really like to be a researcher who is part of a minority?


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