Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global communications and engagement firms, announced the creation of a new offering today to advise clients on communications that build and drive organizations’ diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies. The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion specialty will be led by Tai Wingfield, who joins Weber Shandwick as senior vice president in New York from the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), a diversity think tank where she led corporate communications and worked closely with Fortune 500 companies to advance their DEI efforts.
Under Wingfield’s leadership, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion specialty will consult with organizations across industry sectors to develop strategic, culturally-relevant communications initiatives that establish strong and lasting partnerships with diverse audiences internally and externally. She’ll partner closely with Emil Hill, a senior strategist based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office who has counseled a number of clients on DEI communications strategies, including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a leading organization working to advance racial equity in America.
Together with senior talent from across Weber Shandwick’s network, the DEI offering combines strategic communications expertise with a deep understanding of the DEI landscape, including key constituencies and issues, as well as barriers and opportunities for engagement. The work will build on a variety of DEI programs and initiatives that the firm already supports across its client roster, such as Verizon’s Adfellows program, a rotational marketing training program for diverse college graduates and entry-level talent that Weber Shandwick helped develop and launch.
“A diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce is a business imperative for organizations,” said Andy Polansky, CEO of Weber Shandwick. “We are integrating our world-class expertise in employee engagement, corporate reputation, social impact, high-impact marketing programs and the DEI landscape to help clients deliver on this important opportunity. Tai’s experience in this area and her command of the role that communications plays in achieving DEI goals will bring considerable value to our clients – and to our industry at large – as the ability to communicate around diversity, equity and inclusion is core to the future of marketing services.”
“Organizations are increasingly finding that strategic communications are a vital part of building and driving a successful diversity, equity and inclusion strategy,” Wingfield said. “Done well, organizations reap the benefits of an engaged staff and satisfied customers. At the same time, a misstep can cause severe damage to an organization’s brand and reputation. We look forward to helping guide our clients through these opportunities and challenges to accelerate the impact of their DEI investments.”
Weber Shandwick’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion specialty group will work with organizations in a number of capacities to build and advance clients’ DEI strategies for internal and external audiences, including:
- raising awareness and understanding around the business case for diversity;
- mitigating risk, and navigating culture change and transformation;
- communicating around complex social issues;
- developing campaigns to effectively engage increasingly diverse audiences and stakeholders;
- and demonstrating an organization’s commitment to advancing DEI.
Weber Shandwick’s Social Impact team brings considerable expertise in engaging audiences around complex social issues, and the firm’s Employee Engagement and Change Management team works with clients to strengthen employer reputation and to build stronger organizational cultures by aligning employees around shared values and ways of working. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion specialty will work across these and other practices, and also leverage the firm’s library of proprietary research and thought leadership that tackle important issues in business, such as reports on gender parity in the C-Suite. Weber Shandwick’s commitment to advancing gender equity recently resulted in the launch of a new video series called VoiceUp, which will provide women in business an opportunity to tell their leadership stories in order to inspire the next generation of female leaders to rise to the top.
With nearly fifteen years of experience, Wingfield has advised a wide range of public and private organizations on approaches to diversity and inclusion, brand reputation management and corporate social responsibility. Before joining Weber Shandwick, Wingfield served as the senior vice president of communications for CTI. In partnership with CTI, she coauthored the book, “Ambition in Black and White: The Feminist Narrative Revised,” and the study, “Black Women: Ready to Lead.” Previously, Wingfield held strategic communications roles at Edelman and Weber Shandwick, focused on social impact and corporate strategy.