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Embracing Equity in 2023 and Beyond: Women’s History Month Recap

Discover how Publicis Sapient and its workforce celebrated International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month in 2023, focusing on embracing equity and addressing intersectionality. 

One tremendous benefit of working at Publicis Sapient is access to a robust, global network of Business Resource Groups (BRGs) that empower our people to build relationships and connect on a personal level across all Publicis Groupe companies. 

Throughout Women’s History Month in 2023, we reaffirmed our commitment to advancing gender parity and embracing equity across our workforce, recognizing that while we have achieved so much progress in these areas at PS, we still have work to do.  

This year, the Women’s Leadership Network (WLN)—our Publicis Sapient BRG in support of equitable advancement and inclusion of women in our workplace-combined forces with Viva Women, the Publicis Groupe’s BRG focused on centering women’s mentorship, leadership and professional development to host a series of virtual and in-person events across North America. At the same time, various groups, including our Product capability leadership team and India teams, held their own intimate conversations around embracing equity within their communities.

Throughout Women’s History Month celebrations and International Women’s Day, we saw many exciting programs that highlighted the incredibly diverse talent and experiences of our people. From intimate gatherings of local chapters to thought-provoking virtual discussions, our groups reaffirmed that our culture is one that engages with openness and drives toward inclusion.  

We’re on a path of evolution toward equity, and with programs such as Spring, which helps caregivers return to the workforce, and our RISE Women Development program, we provide many pathways to success. Furthermore, we advance women leaders in fields that are traditionally male dominated, such as our Product leadership team. In addition to a full slate of activities hosted by WLN, our global Product craft leaders, Anne Phelan (EMEA), Alison Frees (NA) and Shireen Alam (APAC) hosted several virtual fireside chats discussing the progress they’ve tracked toward embracing equity by pledging for gender parity across their teams. 

Embracing equity across identities 

For 2023, WLN’s focus has been on increasing collaboration with other BRGs, breaking down silos between our communities, and emphasizing the intersectionality among the identities of our people far beyond just one celebratory month. In partnership with our colleagues in the Viva Women Toronto chapter, we hosted an intimate panel conversation focused on the experiences of Women of Color in the workforce. Coming together with honesty, respect and authenticity, our panelists discussed their personal and professional triumphs, as well as the challenges and resilience gained throughout it all. 

“In our efforts to embrace equity and intersectionality, our programs and BRGs are a welcoming space for anyone who identifies as a woman or ally of women, and we must constantly seek to better engage in the diversity of experiences and identities contained within being a woman.”
Alexandra Hershey, Senior Manager, Agile Program Management and WLN Co-chair

Embracing equity also means we acknowledge where persistent challenges remain and take steps to address these inequities in our everyday actions. 

We can do this in how we structure our programming, such as our first event hosted at the beginning of Women’s History Month. Several recent studies in the U.S. and Europe have shown that women on average are less financially literate than men, and the resulting lack of knowledge leads to significant disadvantages in investing for retirement and other savings measures. Armed with this awareness, our first event of Women’s History Month included a webinar on Women and Financial Literacy, featuring renowned author and founder of the New School of Finance, Shannon Lee Simmons

As we look to the future of how we continue to advance the professional and personal support and development of women across the organization, we must continue to collaborate and uplift the voices of all our BRGs. Every one of us brings a set of intersecting identities to work, and as we build out opportunities for our people to connect, we will continue to partner with our fellow BRGs like HUE (Black Affinity and Allies) or Headspace (Mental Health) on future programming.

Alexandra Hershey
Alexandra Hershey
Senior Manager, Agile Program Management
Alex has been at the forefront of the WLN BRG for nearly 14 years. She initially served as a local lead for the Publicis Sapient Washington DC office, and now co-chairs the WLN Leadership Team across North America. Alex is passionate about her role on the BRG LT and considers advancing women in the workplace a must. When she isn’t at work, you can find Alex playing tennis, adventuring with her three young children or relaxing on the North Carolina beaches.
Jamie H. Smith
Jamie H. Smith
Senior Associate, Product Management
Jamie originally joined WLN as the local lead for the Publicis Sapient Houston office, focusing on elevating women through mentorship, leadership training and networking. Now, she acts as co-chair for the WLN Leadership Team across North America. Jamie is a former cheesemaker and still makes fresh and aged cheeses for fun! She lives in Houston with her husband, son, daughter, and two excitable pups.

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