Weber Shandwick was proud to support the launch of “Diverse Voices: Profiles in Leadership,” a book designed to help communications professionals improve their understanding of the challenges faced by people of color in the industry.
The book features interviews with more than 40 multicultural corporate and PR agency leaders, including Weber Shandwick’s Judith Harrison, SVP, Diversity & Inclusion, Lorenz Esguerra, EVP & general manager of Weber Shandwick Minneapolis and Armando Azarloza, president, Axis Agency.
“Diverse Voices” was developed by the PRSA Foundation, of which Harrison is the president, and the Museum of Public Relations, with all proceeds going to the Foundation, an independent, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion within the communications profession.
The book is supported by an industry-wide effort to help improve diversity and inclusion. Partnering organizations include: The Public Relations Society of America, The Public Relations Student Society of America, Page, PR Council, Institute for Public Relations, The LAGRANT Foundation, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, the National Black Public Relations Society, Hispanic Public Relations Association, The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, ICCO and The Society for New Communications Research of The Conference Board, among others.
Harrison, Esguerra and Azarloza, in addition to other leaders profiled in the book, share candid anecdotes detailing successes and challenges that they face during their career as well as tips and lessons for those entering the field, and thoughts about what the industry must do to become more diverse and inclusive.
Harrison recounted her unique career path – starting in public relations as a day job to allow her to focus on her dream of being a full-time professional singer. Her journey led to opportunities within an emerging area of importance that aligned with her passions – diversity and inclusion. She shares details of her professional experience within the organizations where she has worked and in industry organizations – detailing how both have allowed her to affect change.
Esguerra discussed his passion for mentorship and using his role at Weber Shandwick to help encourage the next generation of leaders based on the lessons he has learned throughout his career.
Azarloza shared about his political background – both personal and professional — and how his experience with political campaigns informed how he approaches multicultural communications and corporate campaigns.
Diversity and inclusion is not an HR initiative, It’s not an initiative at all, it’s a strategic imperative, a leadership function, and should be everyone’s job, every day.
Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
An official launch event for the book was held on the evening of December 4th at Twitter’s headquarters in New York City. Harrison provided introductory remarks regarding the process of pulling together the book. “Having 40 voices telling stories within this book is unprecedented,” she said. “It gives me confidence that our industry is moving from talking to acting.”
The book is available for purchase online here.
A panel of CCOs spoke on the evening’s theme – “Advocacy to Action.”
“Diverse Voices” Contributors