WPP has hired Adrianne Smith as global director of inclusion and diversity, a new position at the holding company.
In this role, Smith will support and partner with Judy Jackson, who was named WPP’s global head of culture last year.
Smith is the founder of Cannes Can: Diversity Collective, an organization dedicated to bringing young people of color to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Last year, Cannes Can: Diversity Collective hosted a week-long activation at the festival called Inkwell Beach, which featured speakers including CBS This Morning’s Gayle King, actress Gabrielle Union and model Naomi Campbell.
“Adrianne was chosen for this role as she is an entrepreneur and a trailblazer, paving her own way advocating for change around inclusion and diversity for the advertising industry for many years,” Jackson said. “Adrianne believes all things are possible, and will bring to the inclusion and diversity agenda a fresh perspective.”
According to WPP, Smith will work alongside Jackson and other stakeholders across the company to advocate for the ongoing inclusion of talent across its network of agencies, which include Grey, VMLY&R, Wunderman Thompson, GroupM and MediaCom.
She will also lead a collective made up of WPP’s diversity, equity and inclusion leaders that was formed last year. As part of this role, she will be tasked with fostering an “atmosphere of collaboration” so members can contribute to and co-create the collective’s strategy, policies and inclusion programming agenda.
“Adrianne will be the conduit to build alignment across our inclusion and diversity strategy, leverage learnings and the effective practices across brands while establishing accountability for our combined success,” Jackson said. “She will work with leadership, client teams, our talent community and external partners in creating an aligned sense of purpose, and will be a trusted partner around our inclusion and diversity agenda globally.”