PR News 2016 Diversity in PR Awards: Individual

Winner: Judith Harrison, Senior Vice President, Staffing and Diversity & Inclusion, Weber Shandwick

Judith Harrison’s vision, passion and commitment have inspired Diversity & Inclusion efforts not just at Weber Shandwick, but within the communications industry and beyond.

A member of the agency’s global leadership team, she heads Weber Shandwick’s efforts in this area, drawing upon more than 20 years of experience in PR recruiting and human resources. Harrison’s D&I programs are designed to build a multicultural workforce that represents a wide range of backgrounds and leverage multiple perspectives and cognitive differences to create innovative, inclusive solutions for clients and a high-performance workplace that fosters collaboration and attracts the best minds in the business.

Some of the most groundbreaking Diversity & Inclusion initiatives now shaping the industry’s efforts were conceived and launched by Harrison personally. In 2013, she initiated and advanced a partnership between the United Negro College Fund, the PR Council and the PRSA Foundation to increase diversity in the industry by recruiting students from historically black colleges and universities. The result of her planning is the PRIME (Public Relations Internship, Mentoring and Education) Program, successfully piloted in 2015 with 15 sponsors, including American Express, Univision and IBM.

Harrison also worked with the PRSA Foundation and Prudential to create and fund the Ofield Dukes Scholarship for diverse college students studying communications. The inaugural winner of the scholarship interned at Weber Shandwick.

In addition, Harrison ensures that Weber Shandwick has a strong presence at diversity events, raising the agency’s visibility as an employer of choice while promoting PR as a career. She created the concept for a thought leadership event hosted by Weber Shandwick with the Digital Diversity Network and directed her agency’s participation in the ADCOLOR Awards and the Ron Brown Scholar Program annual American Journey Awards.