WFA names new Global Diversity Ambassadors
Marketers from Reckitt, Estée Lauder and The Walt Disney Company join founding Ambassador Jerry Daykin to help steer WFA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion drive
The four will play a strategic role in helping shape WFA’s priorities and agenda
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WFA's Global Diversity Embassadors (Starting top left, clockwise): Susan Akkad (The Estée Lauder Companies), Efrain Ayala (Reckitt), Jerry Daykin (Beam Suntory), and Daniela Tabarracci (The Walt Disney Company)
WFA has named three new global diversity ambassadors as it seeks to drive the action needed that leads to better lived experiences for everyone in our industry as well as on-camera representation across the industry.
The new appointments are Susan Akkad, SVP, Local and Cultural Platforms, Corporate Innovation at The Estée Lauder Companies, Efrain Ayala, Global Diversity & Inclusion Director, Marketing Excellence at Reckitt, and Daniela Tabarracci, Senior Regional Manager, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at The Walt Disney Company Latin America.
The three are all longstanding members of the WFA’s Diversity and Inclusion taskforce and will now join Jerry Daykin, VP, Global Head of Media, Beam Suntory, as global representatives of the WFA.
They will work closely with WFA’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce launched in 2020 and whose membership now includes 30 of the world’s biggest advertisers, agencies and media owners. These include AB InBev, Danone, Diageo, Heineken, L’Oréal, Mars, P&G and Unilever, as well as global partners including UN Women’s Unstereotype Alliance and the World Economic Forum.
Belinda Smith, who was a founder Global Diversity Ambassador with Daykin, is stepping down from the role after two years and will concentrate on building her new diversity and inclusion consultancy, The Second Arrow.
Under the leadership of Smith and Daykin, WFA’s Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce has launched several important initiatives. These include developing first-of-its-kind best practice guides for marketers and creatives looking to improve representation in creative and media, as well as helping to develop the industry’s first-ever Global DEI Census, which is due to launch its second wave on March 15. The taskforce has also reached out across the WFA ecosystem to work with expert communities focussing on Global Media, Sourcing and Consumer Insights to develop best practice across all areas of expertise.
“The Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce has become, over a very short period, a flagship initiative of the WFA. However, we know that there’s still much more we can to make our industry a better place to work for everyone. Our four Global Ambassadors will help us supercharge our efforts in this area for the benefit of brands, businesses and society,” said Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA. “We’d also like to pay tribute to Belinda Smith, who has played a critical role in establishing the taskforce and kick-starting our journey.”
“The taskforce has been hugely influential in changing the way marketers think about the content they produce, the media they buy and the lived experience they provide for colleagues. I look forward to working with Susan, Daniela and Efrain and to bringing our global and regional insights to help the WFA and the industry more broadly deliver even more impact in the next few years,” said Jerry Daykin, VP, Global Head of Media, Beam Suntory.
Plans for 2023 initiatives go well beyond the global census in March and include a guide focusing on consumer insights in partnership with WFA’s Insights Form and ESOMAR, work on supplier diversity issues in conjunction with WFA’s Sourcing Board, as well as identifying best practices in the production space.
"Reckitt recognizes the immense potential of brands to affect positive societal change while driving business value. As a member of the WFA D&I Taskforce and a Global D&I Ambassador alongside Susan, Daniela, and Jerry, I am proud to lead and learn simultaneously. My hope is to inspire and empower brands across the globe to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion, and leave a legacy of positive impact that we can all be proud of,” said Efrain Ayala, Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Marketing, Reckitt.
“The WFA D&I taskforce has a pivotal role in challenging existing standards and elevating the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility agenda across our industry. I am proud to join this truly committed team in the capacity of LATAM representative, with the goal of sharing our region's voice, perspective, learnings and expertise, while contributing to bringing about lasting and positive change, for all," said Daniela Tabarracci, Senior Manager, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at The Walt Disney Company Latin America.