Publicis Groupe makes a move to improve diversity and inclusion

Stephanie McRae has been named head of diversity and inclusion for Publicis Groupe. McRae, who has more than 15 years experience in agency human resources, joined Publicis Groupe in March as vice-president of HR for Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi.

A statement announcing the promotion said that McRae will oversee efforts to make Publicis Groupe “the most welcoming and inclusive environment for over 2,000 staffers in the Groupe’s eight business units.”

Brent Nelsen, chief strategy officer for Publicis Communications and Leo Burnett North America, and Mia Pearson, CEO of MSL Group, will work with McRae to fulfill that mandate.

“The three of us will also build a working team from across our brands to help turn intentions into actions,” said Pearson.

The appointment comes as global leaders across the industry pledge to do more to fight systemic racism following the killing of George Floyd and subsequent anti-police and anti-racism protests around the world.

Diversity and inclusion initiatives for Publicis will include training and education, enhanced recruiting and outreach efforts, and creative initiatives to give back.

“We want to ensure we identify the inclusivity needs and priorities of our companies, our culture and our people in order to address them effectively and create positive action,” it said in a statement. “We need to ensure we make available the talent, the financial resources and the knowledge resources required to effect real, lasting change.”

“The due diligence Stephanie has brought to the process so far speaks volumes for the kind of care and thoughtfulness she will bring to the role,” said Andrew Bruce, president and CEO of Publicis Canada.


David Brown