27 October 2022 — New York City, NY — Women in Research (WIRe), a global non-profit organization that champions diversity in the marketing research industry, has announced the winners of their sixth-annual WIRe MRX Diversity Champion award. WIRe partnered with the Insights Association and FUEL + Focus Room to celebrate the occasion during the Corporate Researchers Conference (CRC) in New York City today. This year’s Gold winner is BET’s Vice President & Insights Association IDEA Council Chair, Bianca Pryor. The Silver award went to Laarni Paras, Senior Director of Human Intelligence at Edelman DxI, and former board member of industry organization, Insights in Color.
Gold award winner Bianca Pryor’s (she/her) passion for fighting for equity and inclusion has long been burning. She currently chairs the Insights Association IDEA Council, which stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access, alongside 15 equally passionate council members. In the two-plus years since inception, the IDEA Council has been fiercely committed to making the market research industry more representative by way of IDEAtors Fellowship Program; launching IDEA Forum, which has helped push the industry conversation; and validating and socializing an industry recommendation for race and ethnicity screener/profiler questions based on how consumers themselves want to be asked (gender ID and sexual orientation soon coming).
To draw further on her passion for IDEA work, data, and tech all together, she is also part of Black Women in Artificial Intelligence and leads research at BET Networks for Consumers Insights, Content Excellence. In 2019, Bianca launched a 501c3 that centers around Black maternal health called Dr. Shalon’s Maternal Action Project, and launched a peer-to-peer empowerment app for Black birthing people called Believe Her in 2021.
Bianca is originally from Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Virginia Union University in Marketing and Spanish, then from Purdue for her Master of Science in Consumer Behavior. She is also a proud momma to her five-year-old. Upon winning the WIRe award, Bianca shared that, “this award goes to all the people who have ever felt small and didn’t have the courage to speak up against the –isms, to the people who DID have the courage to speak up but weren’t heard or believed (RIP Dr. Shalon Irving), to the working class who keep Corporate pulsing despite pay gaps, to the people who stand tall in their intricately beautiful identities, and to those who aren’t ready to share their intricately beautiful identity because their workspaces and places still don’t feel safe. We, IDEA Council, see you and fight for you because you matter. Thank you, Women in Research, FUEL x Focus Room, and Insights Association, for creating this award and honoring those in the trenches.”
Silver Winner Laarni Paras is a Senior Director of Human Intelligence on Edelman's Data & Intelligence Team. Laarni is passionate about equity and human rights and the role of inclusion in research and innovation. She leads the DE&I practice within research in Canada and a senior contributor to Edelman DXI’s global DE&I committee, where she leads the ongoing development of more inclusive research standards in Canada and across the Edelman global practice. Prior to market research, Laarni worked for multiple non-governmental organizations working to advance human rights and ending violence against women and children.
Within the larger industry, Laarni is actively engaged in the Canadian Research Insights Council’s DEI Committee. She was a previous active board member of Insights in Color, a community for diverse market research & insights professionals rooted in intentional disruption, and a previous member of the University of Toronto Research and Ethics Board. Laarni is a recipient of the 2021 GRIT Future List and was a MRX Diversity Champion finalist in 2020. Remarking on the award, Paras stated, “I’m humbled and grateful to WIRe and the Insights Association for creating the space in market research for DEI. I am especially honoured to be listed along with my peers who are doing amazing work towards a more inclusive industry. There is so much more work to be done to break down and change the current colonialist systems that govern and influence research. As a leader, it is part of my personal mission to drive a more equitable, inclusive, accessible society. I challenge other leaders to use their power, privilege, and influence to break the status quo and be champions for diversity and social change, too.”
The WIRe MRX Diversity Champion award was created to honor individuals of all genders who are actively embracing all aspects of diversity, encouraging investment in a diverse workforce in market research, and embodying the values of respect, dignity, autonomy and equality. This year’s award was promoted in partnership with the Insights Association and with support from FUEL + Focus Room. Past winners include Denene Jonielle Rodney in 2017; Babita Earle and JD Deitch in 2018; Sophia Papadopoulos and Lindsey Brinkworth and Jess Mons in 2019; Damon Jones and Rebecca Vega in 2020; and Catherine Yuile and Theo Francis in 2021.
Reflecting on this year’s award, FUEL Founder and this year’s award sponsor Tiffany Hays noted that, “Diversity, Equality and Inclusion have long been issues in the market research industry. We can only grow this industry and help the brands we work with gain a broader perspective of branding to a multifarious world, by actively initiating a focus on changing this inequity. Talking about diversity in our industry is over. A commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion requires more than just words –– it requires intention, social responsibility, and most of all action. Fuel and The Focus Room take great pride in our diverse team, and we are honored to be acknowledging others who are taking action and championing to make sure all genders, sexualities, nationalities, races and religions are represented in MRX organizations.”
For more information on the award, please visit https://www.womeninresearch.org/mrx-diversity-champion-award or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
About Women in Research
WIRe champions diversity in the marketing research industry by arming women with the tools to develop professionally, build connections and stay inspired. We believe in the positive impact of women in business. Our mission is to advance the contributions and voice of women in research, both for themselves and for the greater good of the industry. www.womeninresearch.org
About FUEL + Focus Room
FUEL + Focus Room offer global front-to-back fieldwork management for all your online and in-person qualitative and quantitative research needs. With a worldwide network of heavily-vetted partners and 24/7 support our consultative and powerful team mobilizes our network of moderators, recruiters, data experts, facilities, translators, and anything else you may need, to deliver dependable research that empowers your clients to make decisions with clarity and confidence. www.fuelyourworld.com
About Insights Association
The Insights Association protects and creates demand for the evolving Insights and Analytics industry by promoting the indisputable role of insights in driving business impact. All revenue is invested in quality standards, legal and business advocacy, education, certification, and direct support to enable our members to thrive. www.insightsassociation.org