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My Journey as a DEI Lead and Why it is at The Heart of What I Do

Nancy, our very inspirational DEI Lead, talks about how her interest in DEI became a career and why DEI isn't just a buzzword at Publicis Sapient.

Nancy Rowe
Nancy Rowe


I’ve never had a 3, 5 or 10-year plan but I’ve always known at every stage of my career exactly the area I wanted to be working in for the next couple of years. In my 20’s, life at a digital agency was fast-paced and the opportunity to work alongside talented individuals from both creative and technology fields was exciting and enjoyable. As I progressed in my career it became clear that I wanted to fulfill a greater purpose and combine my research and strategy skills in a role that could demonstrably change the experience of working in tech for marginalized groups. 

My inclusion journey began through voluntary involvement with the Publicis Groupe Business Resource Group VivaWomen!, which I Co-Chaired for four years, before transitioning to lead Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts across Publicis Sapient EMEA full time. Having Chaired the BIMA Diversity Council since 2017, I led several events and initiatives designed to shine a light on the benefits of diverse teams and creating inclusive workplace cultures. Working for a leader among Digital Business Transformation Accelerators (Forrester, 2019) my interest lies at the heart of unlocking minority representation in technology-enabled businesses. 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) is a strategic business imperative for our organization, and the DEI team work in partnership with leaders across our global organization to enact the diversity transformation we want to realize. Publicis Sapient has set Objectives and Key Results (OKR’s) around DEI and they are incorporated into both our core values and how we evaluate performance. In addition to this, we have a number of thriving Business Resource Groups (BRG’s) who support gender, LBGTQAI+, race and ethnicity, mental health & wellbeing, and disability (among others). The BRG’s are led by individuals from within the business and operate as employee networks bringing together those with lived experience as well as their allies. It’s an important component of our culture at Publicis Sapient and one of which I am immensely proud. 

If I were to give some tips to candidates it would be the following. Know that technology as an industry is a very broad space. Not everyone who works in tech is a developer – there are marketers, product designers, and managers, business consultants, finance teams, etc. However, if you do wish to become a developer or a data scientist, for example, know that people moving into this space are coming from all sorts of backgrounds, not just traditional computer science degrees. Many organizations are keen to support diverse talent in technology roles and you absolutely will have the right skills, knowledge, and aptitude to succeed. The more we all normalize technology careers for everyone, the faster we’ll get to equal representation of diverse talent in tech.

Nancy Rowe
Nancy Rowe
Inclusion and Diversity Lead, EMEA
In addition to her incredible achievements during her 12+ years at Publicis Sapient, languages have been a big part of Nancy’s success. While studying Russian, she was one of the first British students allowed into the (then) Soviet Union after 70 years of communism. She also taught English in an architectural college in Vienna Austria while studying for a German and French undergraduate degree.

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