LONDON — The Xec, the leadership scheme for UK-based Black, Asian, Mixed Race and ethnic minority PR and communications professionals, has chosen seven candidates to go through the programme in 2024.

Aiming to create the next generation of BME leaders and to increase boardroom diversity client and agency-side, the scheme was developed by BME PR Pros and is supported by Google UK and delivered in partnership with PRovoke Media and the CIPR.

The seven agency and in-house candidates for the third year of the programme (pictured), who secured a place after an application and interview process, are:

  • Priscillia Chun, campaign director, Diffusion PR
  • Sim Devgun, senior account manager, Tin Man
  • Myriam Khan, head of external communications, UK, Thales Transport
  • Arun Lloyd, associate director, Hope&Glory
  • Mammy Maguire, head of student communications and social media, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Lolade Nwanze, senior account manager, Wimbart
  • Anita Rathod, communications and engagement lead, Rolls-Royce.

BME PR Pros founder and CEO Elizabeth Bananuka said: “Two years in and we now know The Xec. has an overwhelmingly positive impact on the professional lives of those who complete it. It is a tough course aimed at creating future leaders we believe will change comms, smash ceilings for them and others, and change our industry for the better.

“Our third cohort is an incredible group I believe are destined for great things and I cannot wait to see how they grow and what they will achieve in coming years. Once again, I am grateful to our generous partners Google UK, PRovoke Media, and the CIPR for making it possible for The Xec. to exist and to exist as a free course for candidates. And, along with our tutors, presenters, and mentors, I cannot thank them enough for rooting for talented BME PR and comms pros to get the careers they deserve.”

The Xec. leadership scheme is a 10-month course encompassing training days (including with the PRovoke Media team and a special Google Day), masterclasses and ‘My Career’ talks all delivered by a diverse range of industry leaders including creatives, communications directors and agency owners from organisations including Google UK, the Guardian, Blurred, Diffusion PR, Fanclub PR, Manifest and Hope&Glory PR.

At Google, UK and Ireland communications and public affairs director Jen Jamie said: “The Xec. is making an important impact on comms, helping equip the future leaders we need to transform our industry. It's a privilege to be involved for the third year running. We're excited to work with, and learn from, another highly impressive group of comms leaders this year.”

The Xec. course participants will be allocated a BME PR Pros mentor for six months and will be given free CIPR membership for 12 months. They will also have the opportunity to curate and present a PRovoke Media event, create and host a podcast series, and be invited to judge a CIPR award.

PRovoke Media CEO and editor-in-chief Arun Sudhaman said: “It’s easy to talk about DEI, but The Xec. is one of the few programmes that not only tangibly disrupts the PR industry’s comfortable status quo, but also transforms the professional lives of everyone it impacts. None more so, of course, than the future leaders that The Xec. helps to develop. It’s incredibly gratifying to witness the emergence of a third cohort that will, no doubt, change the game once again.”

CIPR chief executive Alastair McCapra added: “A warm welcome and many congratulations to the new candidates on this year’s Xec. leadership programme. We know what a unique, positive, and rewarding experience the programme provides and the CIPR is very proud to play our part in supporting your journey.”