Diana Marszalek 20 Feb 2021 // 1:22AM GMT
NEW YORK — Weber Shandwick has released its 2020 diversity data, saying the needle hasn’t moved much since 2019 “not surprisingly after a challenging year with minimal hiring.”
According to the agency’s 2020 stats, which are published online, the diversity of Weber Shandwick’s US team rose slightly during the last year, primarily at the executive VP level.
Whites account for 85% of the firm’s executive VPs and above, down from 88.9% in 2019; 85.7% of the firm's senior VPs and VPs, up from 84.7%; and 75.2% of workers categorized as professionals, versus 75% a year ago.
Blacks and African Americans hold 3.4%, 2.6% and 5.6% of those roles respectively, versus 2.5%, 4.1% and 5.6% in 2019. Hispanics or Latinos account for 2%, 3.9% and 7.3%, versus 1.2%, 3.3% and 7%; Asians hold 8.2%, 4.9% and 8.2% of those jobs, versus 6.2%, 5.5%, and 9.2% a year ago.
“We enter 2021 dissatisfied and restless but still encouraged. Dissatisfied because the data we’re sharing is a far cry from where we want to be … where we need to be. Restless to move swiftly to address issues that are enduring and insidious. Encouraged given the essential, foundational progress we’ve made — and inspired by the people who have so passionately driven it,” the agency said Friday in a post.
“We say foundational progress because we believe vehemently that any sustainable path to diversifying our organization — and sustainable is the only path we’re interested in – is built upon true inclusivity, where belonging can be found by everyone,” the agency said, citing steps it has taken since it made commitments to promoting DE&I last year.
We worked to open our eyes and minds. From education on the persistent and pervasive structural inequities at every level of our society to mandatory unconscious bias training to cultural competency evaluations of our senior team, we worked to encourage every individual in our organization to understand the hidden hurdles that make it harder for people of color to succeed.
We audited our internal career development processes for biases and began to implement new approaches to counter these. One such process was introducing training specifically for our Black employees in the U.S. and their managers to help guide and facilitate the productive coaching and constructive criticism conversations that are the bedrock of career development – and often lacking for those in the BIPOC community.
We forged a path to strengthen our diverse talent pipeline. A path that includes important external partnerships as well as internal protocols to ensure a diverse candidate slate.
We began to operationalize inclusion. Our Juice workforce program puts flexibility and individual experience at its core.
In its post, Weber Shandwick said it believes those “will have a real impact on our organization and our journey toward diversity, inclusivity and anti-racism.
“And it is a journey. A long one and a steep one. But we are committed to it. Because it’s the right thing to do – it’s who we are and in line with our values. And it’s essential to ensure our future value to our clients in a world that is multicultural at its core,” the firm wrote.
The diversity update comes seven months after the agency first released its 2019 diversity data in the wake of widespread civil unrest at the time — which accelerated PR agencies’ push to diversify.