WE Communications announced the appointment of Elizabeth Herrera Smith as executive vice president and Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). She joins the firm’s global executive leadership team and will report to Global CEO and Founder Melissa Waggener Zorkin.
In this newly established role, Herrera Smith will champion the agency’s DEI efforts on a global scale, with an initial emphasis on North America. She will partner closely with a collective set of leaders across the agency to evaluate and accelerate the agency’s current programs, as well as expand efforts to support programming, policies, training and engagement dedicated to making WE a more inclusive and diverse workplace. She will also continue to advise clients on DEI communications.
“We are committed to making systemic and sustainable change across our company,” said Zorkin. “Elizabeth’s track record and passion for progress and transformation will help us create a culture of belonging that celebrates what makes us special and addresses blind spots that need attention. I am incredibly energized by what her leadership will bring to WE in this capacity.”
Herrera Smith has been with the agency for 20 years, most recently serving as a senior vice president in WE’s consumer sector where she led brand reputation and executive communications efforts for a range of clients, including Microsoft, McDonald’s, Allrecipes, Cisco, Safeway, VSP, Volvo and others. Herrera Smith has also played an active role in WE’s DEI efforts, including counseling clients on DEI engagement, actively participating in the agency’s employee resource and affinity groups, and serving on WE’s DEI leadership team.
“As a purpose-driven organization, diversity, equity and inclusion must be integral to everything we do for our employees and for our clients,” said Herrera Smith. “The need for change across our industry has never been clearer. We must continue to evolve our culture and create a place where diverse talent can grow and thrive. It will take all of us to make sustainable, meaningful progress against our goals.”
Over the past several years, WE has expanded its commitment to DEI, including developing inclusive hiring practices, being designated a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality as recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, increased support for Employee Resource Groups, and furthering industry partnerships with The LAGRANT Foundation and ColorComm.
“WE stands for dignity, civil discourse, justice and equality, and we are committed to taking action to protect and defend these rights for all,” said Zorkin. “There is still much more to do, and we will continue to hold ourselves accountable in helping make true change happen.”