Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) - QRCA Views Magazine, Fall 2020

some of the insidious stuff that is still happening and should not be happen- ing: sexual harassment and lack of duty of care (ethical standards). In addition, there needs to be a greater appreciation for what people of LGBTQ and other orientations can offer. There is discrim- ination in that area as well. One of the things I’m proudest about recently is MRS Pride. MRS Pride is one of the most vibrant networks we have. They are lively, they are committed, and it feels great to have debate out in the open about sexual orientation and people’s experiences internally and within the MRS and in our society. Kay: I read about the “MRS Pledge” on your organization’s website. Would you please describe what this is? Jane: That is the backbone of what we do because it gets the leadership of an organization to think about these issues and to measure themselves against these issues. We deliberately have not said, “Follow government allocations.” We do not expect you to have the ethnic minority representation in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland as we do in London, or Birming- ham, or Leicester, which are diverse populations. A lot of our companies are microbusinesses, and they need help putting some of these issues in place. If you only have four people in your business, it is difficult to follow government guidance on pay gap reporting. So, we said, “We don’t expect you to do that. But we do expect you to be aware of what the gaps are and to move away from them. When we come and visit you and talk to you about what you have done after signing up, we’d like you to tell us what progress you’ve made.” It is not a bean-counting exercise; it is very much a lively exchange. And one of the things we have said is, “Do you want us to come and talk to your staff about what their experi- ence is of this?” I would love to get the U.S. and other places signed up to a version of the MRS’s CEO Pledge [to create safer and more representative workplaces], because we wrote it with that in mind. Kay: I hope that the QRCA and the MRS can work together on the initiatives you described. Jane: That would be wonderful because the QRCA has such a good reputation and reach. Organizations like QRCA and MRS that work and network together are stronger together. I would be delighted to work with QRCA on any of the things we have been talking about. Kay: Thank you for telling us about your organization. I have learned a great deal from our conversation! This interview was edited for brevity and clarity. Watch for the full interview in podcast form at www.qrcaviews.org soon. n HUMOR n QUALITATIVE RESEARCH CONSULTANTS ASSOCIATION 37

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