Business Wire published a press release announcing W2O created a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion department and practice. Of course they did. The initiative involved hiring and promoting four women of color. Of course it did. The self-promotional hype included this message from the company’s Global President:
“Our mission is to make the world a healthier place, and we know the world is healthiest when it’s diverse and equitable. Establishing this robust department and practice reinforces our commitment to embed DE&I into every fiber of our company. More than hiring a consultant or single leader, our holistic approach serves all key stakeholders—our people, clients and communities—and is the foundation on which we will drive change, continue to hire and retain diverse talent, and ultimately hold ourselves accountable.”
W2O Creates Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Department and Practice
Senior Leadership Appointments, Promotions and New CEO Advisory Board Member Drive Comprehensive DE&I Strategy
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--W2O, the leading independent provider of analytics-driven, technology-enabled marketing and communications solutions to the healthcare sector, today announced its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) department and practice. This dedicated team was established to anchor DE&I into every aspect of the firm’s business and counsel clients on the most pressing DE&I issues. These experienced leaders will drive the company’s strategy, accountability and transparency in achieving DE&I goals.
“Our mission is to make the world a healthier place, and we know the world is healthiest when it’s diverse and equitable,” said Jennifer Gottlieb, Global President of W2O. “Establishing this robust department and practice reinforces our commitment to embed DE&I into every fiber of our company. More than hiring a consultant or single leader, our holistic approach serves all key stakeholders — our people, clients and communities — and is the foundation on which we will drive change, continue to hire and retain diverse talent, and ultimately hold ourselves accountable.”
Leading the Charge
Marcia Windross has been appointed Head of DE&I, bringing more than 20 years of global DE&I experience to her role at W2O. She will provide strategic leadership for continued transformation, and drive DE&I accountability, engagement and culture internally. Previously, Windross was a Senior Leader of DE&I at Interpublic Group, where she partnered with key stakeholders and led its efforts across 100+ agencies and 54,000 employees. In that role, she championed efforts to get women and people of color into the C-suite, led a diverse talent pipeline program, built a mentoring culture, global business resource groups, and external partnerships and led the annual DE&I survey.
Newly promoted long-time W2O executive Abby Hayes will build upon the strong foundation she has already laid with clients in this area in her new role as Practice Leader, DE&I Engagement. Hayes will develop data-driven, tech-enabled solutions that turn insights into action on the world’s most pressing issues, including COVID-19 health inequities, and racial and socioeconomic health disparities. She will continue to provide culturally competent, purpose-driven client counsel, uplevel W2O thought leadership, and infuse DE&I insights to inform short- and longer-term client strategy and activations.
Both Windross and Hayes will report to Gottlieb.
W2O has hired Karla Talley as Director, DE&I. Talley led DE&I efforts at Kraft, Digitas NA and the University of Michigan, where she built strong partnerships with talent acquisition teams, campus programs and faculty, and the industry at large. In her new role, she will focus on developing holistic DE&I programming and infusing it into W2O’s learning and development strategy.
Toni Pringley joins W2O as Manager, DE&I. Previously at OMG, her team led DE&I across 12 agencies with 4,500 employees as part of Omnicom’s overall Open Leadership DE&I Network. Her experience includes working with Business Resource Groups and partnering with talent acquisition to drive recruitment and retention through career fairs, educational content and new hire training. Pringley will help bring W2O’s DE&I strategy to life by driving action in the areas of recruiting, Business Resource Groups and internal engagement.
Both will report to Windross.
W2O has also added Mary Stutts to its CEO Advisory Board to ensure DE&I accountability at the highest levels. Stutts is a seasoned inclusion, diversity and corporate branding leader in biotechnology, healthcare, consumer, technology and media industries including Genentech, Bristol Myers Squib, Bayer, Comcast NBCUniversal, UnitedHealth Group and Kaiser Permanente. At Stanford Healthcare Stutts established the first Inclusion, Diversity & Health Equity program and remains an advisor for Stanford’s health equity program. Additionally, Stutts is the founder of The Center for Excellence in Life (TCEL), a non-profit dedicated to empowering youth and professionals through life skills development, mentoring, career coaching, and social and business etiquette training.
“Healthcare transformation is happening faster than ever, and inclusion and access is the future,” said Jim Weiss, Founder and CEO of W2O. “This year, we tackled critical areas of DE&I by providing tangible data, insights and pro-bono communications support to partners including the Black Coalition Against COVID and TCEL. To improve our efforts, we listened and engaged our internal Business Resource Groups to have the tough, but candid, conversations and used their insights to guide and inform our holistic strategy. Additionally, we conducted an independent, third-party culture audit. Collectively, these actions are making the world a healthier place — for W2O, our clients and our communities.”
Founded by Jim Weiss in 2001 and built on an ethos of entrepreneurship, staying fluid and doing the right thing, W2O has achieved nearly 20 years of uninterrupted growth while remaining fiercely independent. W2O is an alchemic mix of 1,500 people and hundreds of clients and partners — working from bench to bedside — to make the world a healthier place.
Driven by data, W2O applies proprietary analytics and best-in-class technology to build insights that power creative ideas and concepts. W2O seeks to become the partner of choice to empower optimal healthcare knowledge, access and outcomes — now and in the future.