TACKLING COMMUNICATIONS’ LACK OF DIVERSITY

COMtalk

Studio portraits of Tiye Barnes (COM’19) and Kayla Richardson (COM’20).

10/15/18 -- Boston, Massachusetts Studio portraits of Tiye Barnes (COM’19) and Kayla Richardson (COM’20) on October 15, 2018. Photo by Ally Schmaling for Boston University Photography

When Ermolande Jean-Simon walked into her first master’s degree class at COM, she had a thought familiar to many people of color entering the communications business: where are all the people who look like me?

“I was the only black person,” she says.

Although COM does well by some diversity measures—28 percent of all students are from overseas and 11 percent are Hispanic/Latinx—just 4 percent of students identify as African American or black. That lack of students of color reflects the broader communications industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public relations—Jean-Simon’s chosen profession—is 87.9 percent white. Most communications occupations can only muster single-digit proportions of black and African American employees.

Read the full story in COMTalk.