In 2021, Weber Shandwick announced a goal to be the most inclusive firm in our sector. And while we are focused on making much greater impact, we want to take a moment and acknowledge the positive progress made in the last year, including an update on the diversity of our workforce in the U.S. (details below).
Throughout the past two years, we have worked to instill inclusion in everything we do – from how we hire to career development and opportunities to our day-to-day work. Our aim continues to be building a foundation of belonging, where team members can bring their authentic selves to work and bring diverse thinking and new ideas to everything we do. Here’s how we worked against that goal in 2021.
We committed to increasing the diversity of the Weber Shandwick population and sharing our progress transparently
In 2021, we set aggressive goals to increase diversity and we’re happy to report that we surpassed our representation hiring goals with BIPOC employees representing:
- 25% of the U.S. workforce (up from 21% in 2020)
- 32% of U.S. hires
- 53% of U.S. interns
- 62% of our inaugural NYC Co-Op class
- 75% of intern to employee conversion offers in our New York Co-Op program
As we have for the last two years, we shared detailed data on the diversity of our workforce with our staff, measuring against Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) data for our sector.
Through strategic partnerships, we continued to foster a strong and diverse talent pipeline, including with organizations like I Choose The Ladder, which supports Black women in the workforce and the LAGRANT Foundation whose goal is to increase ethnic minority talent within advertising.
We committed to shaping our future inclusively and took action in several ways:
- DE&I education: We continued to help inform and inspire leaders on the importance of belonging and inclusion – with courses on hiring and promoting top talent and managing with intercultural competence, to bring new perspectives on how managers can navigate cultural differences and identify biases that can impede our ability to build the talent pipeline.
- DE&I communications: We continued hosting Time to Connect – monthly group discussions that provide a channel for team members to share experiences, feelings and support. As racially motivated violence increased, we continually hosted safe spaces for employees to connect. Topics included anti-Black and anti-Asian racism, antisemitism and misogynistic violence – more than 75% of staff joined at least one.
- Differentiated development for Black talent: We partnered with Korn Ferry to provide their Power of Choice differentiated development program for Black talent.
- DE&I in our work: We continued the work of our Diversifying Mindsets Taskforce – in partnership with our business resource groups (BRGs) – to ensure the work we produce for our clients is inclusive and culturally proficient.
We committed to amplifying the impact of our BRGs
In 2021, we expanded our BRGs – creating new groups for our collective of Weber Shandwick team members from the foundation set by our parent company, IPG. And we invested in our BRG’s success by compensating our BRG chairs in recognition of the great responsibility it is and the time it takes to thoughtfully lead a group of colleagues working to build an inclusive environment.
Through foundational programs and a deeply engaged and motivated group of people, we made progress on our workforce diversity goals. We will continue to work against ambitious and important goals for 2022.