Zeno Group releases workforce diversity statistics

The firm’s U.S. workforce is 24.2% non-white.

Zeno Group CEO Barby Siegel
Zeno Group CEO Barby Siegel

CHICAGO: Zeno Group released its workforce diversity statistics on Thursday, showing that 24.2% of the agency’s staff is non-white. 

Of the DJE Holdings agency’s staff, 4% is Black, 10.4% is Hispanic, 7.5% is Asian, 1.3% is Pacific Islander and 1% is of multiple races, according to a post on Zeno’s website written by CEO Barby Siegel. The data reflects staffing levels for Zeno's fiscal Q4, which ran concurrently with Q2.

The diversity statistics have been shared with employees and clients, according to the post. Siegel said she wrote to each Zeno client outlining the agency’s plan to address diversity, equity and inclusion at her agency.

That plan to improve diversity includes anonymizing job candidates to mitigate unconscious bias and training managers to screen candidates equitably. The agency will also establish a fellowship program for people of color and deepen its relationships with historically Black colleges and universities while also increasing its diverse-candidate-recruiting resources.

Siegel said the agency will also work to eradicate systemic racism by building on its pro bono work with Year Up and DuSable Museum of African-American History; continuing its support of comms industry initiatives like the Diversity Advocacy Alliance, Page and Lagrant Foundation and promising to use more diverse partners and suppliers.

“We can look back and kick ourselves for not doing more, or we can move forward with laser-focused urgency and optimism to be part of real industry-wide change within the public relations and communications profession,” Siegel wrote in the post. “We are committed to the latter, and our work begins with an honest look at ourselves, and measurable action plans.”

Zeno had 489 staffers in 2019, according to the PRWeek Agency Business Report 2020, before reducing its headcount by 5% in June in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Weber Shandwick also made its workforce diversity statistics available this month, with agency CEO Gail Heimann saying, “These numbers show a reality that is unacceptable.” 

Richard Edelman, CEO of Zeno’s DJE Holdings sister agency Edelman, promised in a May 31 blog post to accelerate diverse hiring and double its purchase spend with minority-owned small businesses. 

Zeno Group’s revenue grew 8% in 2019 to $79.3 million, according to the PRWeek Agency Business Report 2020.

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