Diana Marszalek 20 Jan 2021 // 8:11AM GMT
NEW YORK — Porter Novelli has launched a justice, equity, diversity & inclusion advisory service, putting some of the agency’s longtime offerings around those issues under one umbrella.
The JEDI group has been created to help companies integrate DE&I into all aspects of their organizations as they face mounting pressure to rectify the systemic inequities that have long plagued businesses.
The consulting practice will work with clients on four key areas: creating an environment that is equitable for all through policies, recruitment and leadership; supporting a diverse workforce through pay parity, professional development, career progression and employee resources; prioritising DE&I in products, marketing and communications; and championing diversity of ideas, people and partners.
Advisors will work with clients using assessments and benchmarking, as well as developing training sessions, strategy and social justice programs.
“How a company shows up in action and words, with an intersectional mindset that takes into account bigotries experienced by other groups, is the challenge facing companies in the coming decade,” said executive VP Sandy Skees, who co-leads the advisory service with Atlanta managing director Conroy Boxhill. “As JEDI counselors, our commitment at Porter Novelli is to ensure that our clients are at the forefront of dismantling systemic racism; the future of their business depends on it and so does the survival of our society. We can no longer simply work to improve the lives of those in a faulty system. We must change the system itself.”
The advisory group will be staffed primarily by existing agency experts in areas such as ESG, sustainability and corporate counsel. Although Porter Novelli has offered services in those areas for roughly a decade, the racially charged events of the last two years have heightened calls for corporations to dismantle systemic inequities more aggressively.
“We began working with Porter Novelli on our purpose playbook and overall sustainability efforts in 2018, and a substantive portion of that was — and will continue to be — focused on diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Dick’s Sporting Goods chief communications and sustainability officer Peter Land. “The heart of Porter Novelli’s work is partnering with us, Finsbury and other agencies to develop strategies, inform policies and create plans across a range of environmental, social and governance topics.”
Porter Novelli lost its own D&I leader in September, when parent company Omnicom Public Relations Group tapped Soon Mee Kim to serve as the division’s first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. The agency has yet to fill the position.