ST. LOUIS: FleishmanHillard has named Adrianne Smith as chief diversity and inclusion officer.
Smith will report to FleishmanHillard president and CEO John Saunders. In her new role, Smith is charged with leading DE&I strategy for the firm as it endeavors to become more inclusive.
As a member of the firm's global leadership team, Smith will spearhead FleishmanHillard’s 2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan, working closely with Leela Stake and Adiya Mobley, co-leaders of True MOSAIC, an offering specifically created to provide DE&I counsel to clients.
“As an advocate and activist, my forward focused DE&I journey has been one of creating opportunities and providing access for those who have been historically left out of the advertising and marketing profession,” Smith said. “This journey has also included educating the industry on the value of diverse human capital."
In addition to ensuring that FleishmanHillard has a diverse culture with DE&I embedded within the entire organization, Smith plans to put sustainable retention programs in place to support its high-valued, high-performing employees of color.
"FleishmanHillard has shared a bold and innovative plan to achieve its pursuit of becoming the most inclusive agency in the world," she said. "I plan to work closely with the DE&I team and the broader leadership team to guarantee the goals for talent recruitment and retention, business growth development and employee engagement are met and are sustainable."
Smith replaces Emily Graham, FleishmanHillard’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer, who was promoted to chief equity and impact officer at parent company Omnicom in January 2021.
Smith joins the firm from WPP, where she was the company's first global director of inclusion and diversity and was responsible for building an internal global inclusion and diversity resource platform for its network of agencies.
She also oversaw the development of a global conscious inclusion learning and development series focused on allyship, anti-racism, covering, bystander training and building inclusive cultures.
Before WPP, Smith was founder and managing partner at Vision Corps Media Group and on the launch team as director of advertising at Soul of the South Network.
Other previous roles include managing director of AdHere Network/Harlem TV-CIC, vice president of ad sales at the African Heritage Network and media buyer/planner for Leo Burnett.
Smith will continue her work with the Cannes Can: Diversity Collective, which she founded in 2017 to generate awareness and create access for underrepresented talent to excel in advertising, marketing, media and creative industries.