Weber Shandwick Collective expands, rebrands diversity offering

New hire Nadine Redd Blackburn and Emil Hill are co-leading the specialty.

L-R: Nadine Redd Blackburn and Emil Hill.

NEW YORK: The Weber Shandwick Collective has expanded its diversity, equity and inclusion client offering and renamed it as culture, equity and inclusion.

The specialty’s co-leaders are new hire Nadine Redd Blackburn, EVP of CEI, behavior and systemic change for United Minds, and Emil Hill, EVP of CEI, reputation and risk for Powell Tate. 

Management consultancy United Minds and public affairs firm Powell Tate sit within The Weber Shandwick Collective, which also houses Weber Shandwick, Revive, Resolute Digital, Flipside, ThatLot, KRC Research and Cappuccino.

The Weber Shandwick Collective’s DEI function was previously led by Tai Wingfield, who joined 3D world-building platform Unity this year as global inclusion lead. Weber Shandwick has delivered DEI offerings to clients for nearly a decade, the firm said in a statement.

Blackburn joined United Minds in late August, reporting to CEO Kate Bullinger. United Minds is a management consulting firm Weber Shandwick created in October 2018 that focuses on change management.

Blackburn leads DEI services and strategy related to culture and change management and supports clients’ goals to improve representation, equity, inclusion and belonging.   

Hill also stepped into his role in late August. He has worked at Weber Shandwick for more than 16 years and was most recently EVP of client experience for Powell Tate and Weber Shandwick. 

Through CEI, the Weber Shandwick Collective will work to enable clients to manage DEI and culture as business imperatives, support change management and communicate progress against goals to internal and external audiences, according to a statement.

“To succeed in today’s business environment, it will take next-level solutions that address the behaviors and systemic change required to ensure stated DEI commitments and investments are tangible, visible manifestations of how companies operate,” Bullinger said via email. “By leading with culture, the common thread across the changing landscape, we’ve created a new specialty that builds on the diversity platform to encompass CEI.” 

Blackburn said that just because the function’s name has changed, the diversity element has not gone away.

“We are building from diversity as a foundation to focus on the culture and take us to the next level of the work we are providing,” said Blackburn.

She noted that the move from DEI to CEI is timely and reflects evolving work practices, changing demographics, globalization and new technologies people are using for work.

“It is a good time as we think of that and the impact that our social, environmental, economic and systemic injustices are having on employees as well as customers in the market,” said Blackburn. “It all comes down to culture and understanding how and why people identify the way they do and ensuring we are creating environments that enable them to thrive in the workplace and marketplace.” 

Blackburn has joined the network from Nike, where she was the head of DEI for Converse, Jordan, Nike North America and One Nike Marketplace. 

The Weber Shandwick Collective’s parent company is Interpublic Group. The PR firms in IPG’s Specialized Communications and Experiential Solutions segment, which also include Golin Group, Current Global and DeVries Global, registered mid-single-digit growth on an organic basis in Q2.