To build a more diverse PR industry, it will be necessary to confront—and answer—some uncomfortable questions, according to The Grapevine executive producer Donovan Thompson.

Thompson sat down with D S Simon Media’s Doug Simon and Tameeka Henry to discuss the changes that the industry needs to make on “PR’s Top Pros Talk,” the video interview series produced by D S Simon Media in partnership with O’Dwyer’s.

Thompson tells Simon and Henry that the leaders of conversations about diversity are often white, and that other voices often become little more than an afterthought.

To remedy that, he says, it will take “a pipeline for Black people to lead.” And leadership possibilities need to be opened up across the board. “The person on your C-suite who’s black does not have to be the diversity lead,” he says.

Thompson also talks about how difficult it is for black people to speak out about issues surrounding racism in the workplace. “If I talk about the systemic racism,” he says, “that will then follow me for the rest of my career.”

One way around these difficulties is for industry leaders to take the lead. “When you allow Black people to be our full selves, it will revolutionize your business,” Thompson says. “Encourage your corporations to go with the times and go with flow. Do not fight against this change.”

All of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series can be seen here.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at dougs@dssimonmedia.com

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.