Communications Division first in-house team to receive Blueprint diversity mark

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Imperial’s communications team have received Blueprint Ally status, recognising efforts to improve diversity in all areas of their work and operations

The Blueprint diversity mark aims to promote racial diversity in public relations and communications. Originally set up for communications agencies, the scheme expanded to include in-house teams, and Imperial College London’s Communications Division are the first to receive the mark in this category. 

"Nearly two years after launching The Blueprint for in-house teams and comms organisations it is an absolute pleasure to award Imperial College London's communications division The Blueprint Ally status." Elizabeth Bananuka Founder of BME PR Pros and CEO of Blueprinted

The Blueprint Ally status reflects an ongoing commitment to encouraging diversity, from entry-level to senior leadership, and across staff culture, recruitment and retention. 

Hayley Dunning, member of the Communications Division’s EDI Working Group said: “We are proud that the Blueprint Ally mark recognises the progress we have made and the initiatives we have put in place to ensure that the Communications Division is a welcoming, nurturing and energising place for everyone.” 

The Blueprint success rested on several initiatives pioneered by members of the Communications Division's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Working Group. These include the Imperial As One Media Academy, a training programme offering expert media training for minority ethnic staff and students, a style guide for writing about ethnicity, a tailored internship programme for underrepresented groups, and a pilot flexible holiday programme to accommodate dates with meaning for a range of faiths, beliefs and lifestyles. 

A poster to represent that Imperial has received Blueprint Ally status

The team have also worked alongside recruitment colleagues and the EDI Centre to introduce more inclusive recruitment practices, such as advertising on job boards specific to underrepresented groups and sending some interview questions in advance. 

Numerous campaigns have also been produced, in collaboration with diverse parts of the Imperial community, to reflect the diversity of Imperial’s community, and marking events organised by teams within Imperial such as the EDI Centre, Imperial As One, Imperial 600 and Able@Imperial - including Black History Month, Disability Pride Month, LGBTQIA+ History Month, Pride Month, Women at Imperial Week, Mental Health Awareness Week, Trans Day of Visibility, and other cultural and faith-based recognition days. 

Elizabeth Bananuka, Founder of BME PR Pros and CEO of Blueprinted, said: "Nearly two years after launching The Blueprint for in-house teams and comms organisations it is an absolute pleasure to award Imperial College London's communications division The Blueprint Ally status. Their robust application detailed a thorough, thoughtful and committed approach to equality, diversity, and inclusion, and highlighted the significant role in-house pros, who make up more than two thirds of our industry, can play in creating a more racially diverse and inclusive sector. 

"The Blueprint judges and I cannot thank Hayley Dunning and her colleagues at Imperial College London's comms division enough for their inspiring commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, and we congratulate them for becoming the first ever Blueprinted in-house team. It is a remarkable and well-deserved achievement." 

Hayley Dunning added: “Attaining the mark is not the end. We are looking forward to creating a roadmap for future developments and improvements in our work. We feel we're in an excellent position to lead by example, and in making further improvements we hope to inspire and encourage others to commit to improving diversity and the working environment for all.”


Andrew Youngson

Andrew Youngson
Communications Division

Hayley Dunning

Hayley Dunning
Communications Division

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Disability-support, Strategy-staff-community, Equality, Comms-strategy-Inclusive-community, Diversity
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