Ross will become the first Black woman to lead the world’s largest PR firm when she takes the helm on May 3. Previously, Ross worked as managing director of APCO Worldwide, spent 15 years at Ogilvy PR and also served as communications director for the US Department of Labor under the Clinton Administration.
Since last summer’s social justice protests, fashion PR has faced a reckoning of its own when it comes to making the industry more welcoming for Black employees, as well as other people of colour.
Among 73,000 people working as “public relations managers” in the US in 2019, 89 percent were white, 8 percent were Black, less than two percent were Hispanic or Latino, and less than one percent was Asian, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data is similar for “public relations specialists,” of whom there were 137,000 in 2019.