Finn Partners, a leading global marketing agency, named senior partner Helen C. Shelton to its new role of global chief diversity officer.
In her new position, the 25-year public relations veteran will expand on her work as director of diversity and inclusion, directing Actions Speak Louder, the agency’s global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiative. She will counsel clients on DEI strategies, internal and external communications, impactful alliances, and recruitment, civic engagement and volunteerism.
A 2004 Network Journal “40 Under Forty Achievers” honoree and 2015 recipient of the magazine’s “25 Influential Black Women in Business” award, Shelton is fluent in Italian, obsessed with handbags, and passionate about horses and equine husbandry.
“If I had the time and money, I would build and operate a state-of-the-art working horse farm that serves as a teaching and mentoring facility for minority youth to learn about the art of equine sports and the discipline that comes with maintaining horses,” she once told TNJ.
Professionally, she is committed to creating communications platforms that uplift and empower underserved communities. Her new responsibilities align with her position as the leader of Finn Partner’s global multicultural practice, where she advises clients on strategies to reach and engage diverse communities in areas ranging from health and wellness to consumer and technology.
In the five years Shelton has been leading DEI efforts at Finn, she created alliances with more than 20 social justice organizations around the world and launched an employee-matching donation program with those partners.
She also founded and oversees Culture Conversations, a Finn Partners webinar series featuring candid discussions with notable figures on the frontlines in the fight for equal justice and eradicating health disparities, among other movements.
“Diversity and inclusion is not a trending topic for me – it is something that I have been committed to throughout my career,” says Shelton, who holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Dartmouth College and a master’s from Boston University College of Communication.
Finn Partners recently launched its Partners for Diversity mentorship initiative in collaboration with Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the U.S.