Promoting diversity and inclusion
in the US

We have continuous programs in place to improve the representation of diverse employees in our workplace. These cover education, recruitment and training initiatives. Specific examples include:

  • Partnerships: WPP companies work with diversity organisations and participate in initiatives to encourage diversity. These include Diversity Best Practices; The Leadership, Education and Development Program in Business; The National Black Public Relations Society; City College of New York and the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ (AAAA) Operation Success.
  • Internships: several WPP companies participate in the AAAA’s multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) (NY City Capital Internship Program) and other initiatives that allow minority students to gain experience in the marketing industry.
  • Targeted recruitment: many of our companies use specialist recruitment agencies and publications and attend minority recruitment fairs.
  • Raising employee awareness: our companies provide training and information to ensure that employees understand the importance of diversity and inclusion.

WPP companies win ADCOLOR Awards

In November 2008, four WPP company employees were honoured at the ADCOLOR awards, a program that recognises outstanding diverse professionals at the junior, mid and senior levels in each segment of our industry.


Byron E. Lewis, Chairman-CEO, UniWorld Group, New York

Byron E. Lewis started his own agency, UniWorld Group in 1969 and built it into one of the largest African-American-owned multicultural advertising agencies, with annual revenues of $250 million. Its clients include household names such as Burger King as well as Ford and Lincoln brand automobiles. Now 49% owned by WPP, the agency remains 51% minority-owned and run.

ADCOLOR Change Agents

Donna E. Pedro, Senior Partner-Chief Diversity Officer, Ogilvy New York

Donna Pedro joined Ogilvy New York in 2007. With Ogilvy’s goal to be the ‘employer of choice’ for all groups in advertising, Donna Pedro has established an active employee advisory council and professional networks; established a highly rated diversity and inclusion ‘sitelet’ on the web site; hosted frank, informal diversity dialogues between senior leaders and employees; and grown numerous diversity training programs.

She has also expanded Ogilvy’s college recruiting efforts at historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and among student-led affinity groups on general campuses. This year, half of the 28 hires for Ogilvy’s 12-month entry-level program are people of colour.

ADCOLOR Rising Stars

Catherine Auguste, Digital Media Planner, Mindshare-Team Detroit

Catherine Auguste has shown at age 23 an ability that prompted her bosses to offer her a permanent position seven months into a one-year internship. She has impressed Mindshare-Team Detroit with her initiative and creativity, developing an internal presentation explaining why auto dealers should try to reach African-American customers online.

Keenan Ellsberry, VP-Head of Interactive Solutions, Ogilvy-Team Detroit

Ogilvy identified Keenan as a rising star when he contributed to the success of numerous client assignments. In addition, he worked on a pro bono project for a new website, Starfish, a not-for-profit child and family services initiative; and strategic insight development for a campaign drive for the United Way for south-eastern Michigan.

Burson-Marsteller creates Diversity and Inclusion Council

Burson-Marsteller created an internal Diversity and Inclusion Council in February 2008 to ensure it develops and maintains a culture that understands different communities and helps clients communicate in more focused ways.

Burson-Marsteller hopes to achieve a significant competitive differentiation by attracting and retaining a multicultural workforce and supporting new kinds of affiliations and alliances.

Actively lead by the US CEO, Pat Ford, the council consists of employees of all levels from a variety of regions within the US along with members of the HR team nationwide. Their three areas of focus are:

  • Raising awareness and levels of respect – to instil the cultural awareness and sensitivity required by the changing market and workplace demographics.
  • Career development and mentoring – to ensure development of a diverse pool of high-potential employees who have equal access to the tools and support needed to progress into key positions.
  • Sourcing talent – enhancing recruitment efforts to reflect different diverse groups with particular emphasis on mid to senior levels, as well as candidates who are not from PR or corporate communications departments.

Burson-Marsteller has also created relationships with organisations to tap into pools of diverse talent, such as the National Association of Black Journalists.

Y&R sits on Diversity Best Practices Council

Y&R is a member of the Diversity Best Practices (DBP) Council. The council provides an arena for diversity thought leaders to share best practices and develop innovative solutions for culture change.

Through research, benchmarking, publications and events, DBP offers members information and strategies on how to implement, grow, measure and create ‘first-in-class’ diversity programs.