In this episode you meet Judith Harrison, Senior Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion at Weber Shandwick. A tireless advocate for the advancement of women and people of color, Judith is one of the most influential, awarded executives in marketing communications.
She is a visionary leader dedicated to changing the face of the business through industry collaboration and inclusion-focused organizational transformation. Throughout her high-profile career in top marketing services agencies and organizations, Judith has activated industry diversity and inclusion efforts through creation of the Diversity Distinction in PR Awards, initiating a partnership with the United Negro College Fund, and bringing together multiple professional and trade organizations in an unprecedented joint effort to attract, retain and develop diverse talent.
Judith is an inspiring, authentic, powerful speaker who is passionate about motivating women and multicultural professionals to see the best in themselves, be the best they can be, and boldly face the future with the information, confidence and courage they need to fulfill their potential.
Judith is president-elect of New York Women in Communications, the premier organization for the advancement of women at every career stage in a changing media landscape through scholarships, empowerment grants, educational and networking events, and mentoring. She is also president of the PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) Foundation, which works to increase racial diversity and inclusion in the public relations industry. Judith is the first woman of color to hold either position, and the first individual to hold both simultaneously.
As Diversity & Inclusion leader at Weber Shandwick, Judith drives programs designed to build a multicultural workforce that leverages diverse backgrounds and perspectives to create innovative solutions for clients and an inspiring, high-performance workplace.
Judith’s background includes public relations and marketing communications positions and projects at Burson-Marsteller, Ernst & Young, CBS, Media General, Random House, and the Italian Trade Commission.
Since joining Weber Shandwick in 2006, Judith has guided the firm to recognition as a champion of diversity and inclusion, with honors including the PRWeek/PR Council Diversity Distinction in PR Awards in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, and the 2016 PR News Diversity Heroes Award as an Organization of the Year. She brought the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) together with the PR industry to form the PRIME (Public Relations Internship, Mentoring and Education) Program, launched in 2015 with sponsorship from Fortune 500 companies as well as leading PR agencies.
Judith is former president of New York Women in Communications Foundation, former chair of the HR Roundtable of the PR Council, and a former member of the Clinton Global Initiative Disabilities Working Group.
She serves on advisory boards of ColorComm and the Ron Brown Scholar Program, as well as the 4A’s Diversity Steering Committee. She is also a member of the public relations industry Research Collaboration Group.
During our conversation some of the things we discuss:
- The skillset required to be a great PR professional.
- Going from working in PR to allow her to sign at night, to finding her purpose in the work.
- The importance of having a senior management team that supports you and your strengths.
- How having emotional intelligence can change the course of your career.
- Why choosing the right partner is critical for career success.