Hanson Search championing diversity in the workplace by promoting inclusive hiring practices and creating better working environments for all.

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Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity

Hanson Search has a long track record in delivering candidates from a diverse background and is committed to helping businesses create a diverse work force. It’s embedded in all of our processes across the business from our own internal selection, onboarding, training, marketing, events, searches and short lists. We firmly believe in selecting the best person for the role, but we endeavour to always select a diverse pool of candidates and take constant steps to create a landscape in which we can search from as diverse a pool as possible.

The communications and public affairs industry currently lacks diversity. According to 2022 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 81.4% of public relations specialists identify as white, 12.2% identify as Black, 2.4% as Asian and 11.9% as Latino or Hispanic. As a headhunting business we want to do all we can to ensure we are playing our part in helping to create a diverse work force and bringing about change across the industry.


Our diversity work started back in 2012, when Alice Weightman published a report ‘Getting the balance right’ to help businesses tackle some of these key issues in the communications industry. The findings of the report led to a campaign by Hanson Search and an events series about raising the issues that women faced in the workplace, this report went all the way to the House of Lords, where Alice was invited to speak.

In 2014 we worked with the government on the Disability Confident Campaign. We hosted an event whereby top HR and recruitment professionals came together to discuss how to become confident about employing people with disabilities and how it benefits business. The event was a great success with good ideas that were debated with a number of large corporate firms.

In 2015 Janie Emmerson co-founded a training programme called UpSkill, with a charity called UpRising, working with young people from diverse economic and social communities promoting and encouraging diversity and equality in the workplace within communications. She led a rolling programme of training days and networking events and introduced the alumni to communications businesses for paid placement opportunities.

In 2016 Hanson Search teamed up with the IPA and Campaign Magazine, along with Google, Sky Media, Lida and M&C Saatchi, in support of the Women of Tomorrow Awards. The awards are designed to find the female leaders of the future, champion exceptional female talent, and shine a light on the staggering gender differences still prevalent in the industry. Alice Weightman, CEO, interviewed senior talent for a short film that was shown at the awards with IPA.

In 2018 we partnered with the Ideas Foundation, who work with young people from diverse economic, social and racial backgrounds to signpost them towards careers in creative industries. We wanted to share the great work that they had done in the advertising industry and introduce them to our network across communications.

In 2021 Ebony Gayle joined our diversity advisory board to champion our commitments to education, promotion and change both internally and support our clients in finding, hiring & retaining employees from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. Together with 9to5 work rebels podcast  we launched Gems in Comms which explored working experiences of BAME communities with shared learning and insight for those in similar positions.

Hanson Search were also involved with 10,000 Black interns program. 10,000 Black Interns was founded in 2022 and the group initiated a humble project to place 100 Black students and graduates in internship positions within Investment Management. The pilot was a huge success, and the aim now is to offer 2,000 internships to Black students and graduates each year, for the next 5 years, which Hanson Search supports by proving these students with internships internally.

In 2023 Hanson Search have partnered with ‘I Have A Voice’ who are a social enterprise that empowers people to engage with politics through education. We supported the organisation be delivering workshops for ethnic minorities on how to prepare for interviews and secure internships in the world of Public Affairs.

Download our diversity and inclusion policy here.

Diversity & Inclusion Changing the face of the PR & Communications industry

If you’re interested in a career in PR and Communications, we have sign posted below some information that can help you along your journey as well as some useful links for employers.

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Our Initiatives Disability Confident

The term “disability” refers to a huge range of physical, mental and learning impairments that are faced by millions of people. Recent studies show that 1 in 3 people in the communications industry has a mental health condition – twice the rate for the general population. That makes disabilities our business.

We strive for greater inclusion and the removal of barriers preventing disabled people from fulfilling their potential.

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Our Initiatives Women in PR Middle East

There are many issues that have come to light regarding women in the PR industry in recent years. The most startling being the under-representation of women in leadership roles, despite the fact that 67% of the industry is composed of females. By launching Women in PR Middle East, we will be able to better address the challenges facing women in the industry in the Middle East.


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Article Tackling diversity issues in a male-dominated industry

Alice Weightman sits down with Bill Brock to discuss the diversity challenges facing the digital and creative industries

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Our Values

We are pushing boundaries and promoting better ethics in the industry. 

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Article: Leadership Lesson with Lucy Piper, Director, WorkforClimate

We recently spoke with Lucy Piper, Director at WorkforClimate. Lucy shares her vision for the future, emphasizing the...

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