Sandra Sims-Williams


Sandra Sims-Williams
Chief Diversity Officer
Publicis Groupe
Boston, Mass.  


Sims-Williams’ career in diversity began unofficially when she and her
sister attended an integrated school for the first time in her Virginia
hometown. Sims-Williams recalls her grandmother telling them to go and
listen to their names on the roll call of excellence. “She was
essentially assuring us that we were good enough or if not better than
those whom we would assimilate with the next day and thereon afterwards.
I took this lesson personally,” says Sims-Williams. Since then,
Sims-Williams has continued to strive for excellence, often despite
tremendous odds, while encouraging others to do the same.


received a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers, The State University of New
Jersey, and a master’s from Hunter College, City University of New York.
In her role as chief diversity officer at Publicis Groupe, she is
responsible for developing and sustaining inclusion initiatives, tools,
and measurements of success and challenges for the company. In her
21-year tenure at the firm, she has risen in the ranks as the business
grew from a single-office direct marketing firm based in Boston to an
international business that is integrated with 13 other agencies,
including its headquarters in Paris. Among the highlights of her career,
she cites organizing the Roundtable for Advertising Diversity
Executives (RADE), which addresses diversity and inclusion in the
advertising industry, and hosting the annual Publicis Groupe women of
color event at the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit.


Sims-Williams, advocating on behalf of others is more than just a
career, it’s a lifestyle. She conceived and created two transformational
women’s groups in her community for senior and younger women. “It’s
always been a passion of mine to reach out and help someone,” she
explains. “I do try to do my best to help empower people to live up to
their full potential and enjoy their journey.”