Publicis Groupe Chief Diversity Officer Ronnie Dickerson Stewart is departing the company after less than one year in the role stating her decision to move on was one made “thoughtfully” and in “careful consideration” of the “inflection-point we each are navigating which calls for integrity, urgency, and authenticity in both how we choose to lead and in how we each do our part to intentionally advance DE&I,” she wrote in a LinkedIn post.
The Groupe is replacing her with Renetta McCann, Chief Inclusion Experience Officer, who will not officially hold the title of Chief Diversity Officer, but will assume all of Dickerson Stewart’s responsibilities.
“Our commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion across our organization has never been more important or purposeful,” the Groupe said in a statement. “As we accelerate this momentum into the New Year, Renetta McCann will continue her leadership of our DE&I focus in the US. As a true champion of our talent, we thank Ronnie for her many contributions, and wish her well.”
Before her elevation to the C-suite in early 2020, Dickerson Stewart spent more than eight years with Publicis agency Digitas, lastly as senior vice president career advancement and inclusion.
In July, Publicis Groupe revealed that 5.4% of its U.S. workforce is Black. This includes 8% in
junior levels, 4.6% in mid-level positions and just 1.9% at the senior leadership level.
“What has become clear is that too many initiatives and disparate efforts without focus does not drive the necessary impact to truly change things,” stated Arthur Sadoun, CEO/Chairman, Publicis Groupe in an internal email written in July. “That is why today we deliberately want to take fewer but stronger actions with on-going measurement and accountability.”
This strategy will now be directed by McCann who is widely recognized as a DE&I leader and counselor, not only inside the company but with Groupe’s clients and the industry at large as well. She currently leads the Publicis Groupe Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee, and helped to champion its Seven Actions manifesto announced last summer, with ongoing measurement & accountability.
Dickerson Stewart, for her part, writes about her intention to continue to push for diversity. “As I told about 18,500 of my colleagues on a fateful day back in June, keep your foot on the gas! As I architect my next chapter, I intend to do just that, and I fully trust those who’ve committed to this work will continue to do so as well!”