A ROADMAP FOR CHANGE
New York Women in Communications and Kaplow Communications launched the “Roadmap for Change” (RFC) initiative in 2022, in response to the lack of diversity in the communications profession. The evolving program is aimed at increasing opportunities within the communications sector for members of historically excluded groups, and providing an example for other companies to follow.
The Roadmap for Change (RFC) initiative, now in its second year, was developed with the guidance and feedback of NYWICI Kaplow Scholarship recipient Brianna Boone, whose apprenticeship marked its first iteration. Insights from NYWICI partner company Inclusivity Initiatives and continuing research into workplace DEIB best practices also inform the nascent initiative. The hope is that this collaborative process will make it easier for other agencies and brands to adapt the Roadmap for Change (RFC) to their own workplaces.
The program’s ongoing growth will be informed by an advisory board, comprising a wide range of expert viewpoints to shape the direction of the Roadmap and ensure the program offers ongoing, appropriate resources to help scholars thrive.
WHAT WE DO
Roadmap for Change (RFC) provides apprentices with access and exposure to different areas of the industry that will allow them to develop their career goals, while also diversifying the pipeline of entry-level talent in the communications sector.
“The lack of inclusivity in the communications industry calls for action-oriented change. In order to develop effective strategies that speak to diverse audiences, our industry must represent a wide range of perspectives, including those from underrepresented groups,” says Liz Kaplow, Founder and CEO of Kaplow Communications and long-time sponsor of NYWICI’s Kaplow Scholarship. She notes: “It is time to move forward with a tangible program that will lead to long-term results.”
The collective goal is that this growing program will enhance the internship experience and provide a runway to expand long-term career opportunities for other aspiring communications professionals from underrepresented backgrounds. It will also connect communications organizations via apprenticeships with scholars who represent the diversity of the world around us.
As NYWICI’s Kaplow Scholarship recipient, I am proud to be the first Roadmap for Change (RFC) apprentice. This experience allowed me to feel seen and heard, while understanding the significance of true inclusion and granting me exposure to a world within communications that I did not know existed. The combination of hard skills, industry experience and tangible advice truly changed the trajectory of my future in the communications industry.
- Brianna Boone
- Work with NYWICI to create a scholarship for a candidate, or partner with an existing scholarship that doesn’t currently offer an internship, to design an apprenticeship based on not only the company’s needs, but the scholar’s desires and passions
- Actively engage in learning both from the recipient and from other sources about processes and resources that may be helpful to the scholar, based on their needs and goals (for example, accessibility accommodations, employee resource group access, etc.)
- Expose the apprentice to teams and employees of all career stages, providing clear accessibility to professionals, no matter the level
- When choosing the apprentice’s manager, keep relatability in mind
- Identify a young professional within the company that has recently started their own career, giving the apprentice a unique, realistic, full view into an entry-level position
- Create thoughtful projects that will bring the company/brand fresh results from a Gen Z perspective, allowing companies to think differently while simultaneously providing training to the apprentice
- Work with the apprentice to design a final project that benefits the company and allows them to put the skills they’re gaining into practice, including the opportunity to present their project outcome
What We Offer
NYWICI encourages all candidates who feel they bring an underrepresented viewpoint and experience to the communications industries to apply to become NYWICI scholars, and also looks forward to increasing the number of partner apprenticeships using the Roadmap guidelines. Sponsor partners can provide their apprentices with hands-on exposure to learn, explore, and better understand how best to enter the workplace across PR, advertising, media buying, digital, publishing, broadcast, and editorial. While each industry has its own unique nuances, what follows is a framework that can be adapted to your business’ and scholar’s specific needs.
What Roadmap for Change (RFC) offers scholar apprentices and partner organizations:
- Apprentices gain real world exposure to major organizations in the communications fields via NYWICI’s partner agencies, companies and publishers.
- Partner organizations work to cultivate and provide meaningful opportunities for a new, inclusive generation of talent, supplying apprentices with fresh, crucial perspectives.
- Apprentices gain connections with NYWICI members at all stages of their careers, including past Matrix winners.
- Partner organizations gain connections to a venerable organization pushing to make the communications industries the best they can be.
- Apprentices and partner organizations gain opportunities to participate in and organize events that raise their profile among a new generation of talent.