DDB Names Diversity Chief

NEW YORK DDB here has named human resources manager Minerva Garcia to the new position of chief diversity officer. Garcia is tasked with recruiting, retaining and promoting minority staffers. In her new role, she reports to president Peter Hempel.

“In keeping with the DDB spirit that the best ideas can come from anywhere, we must go everywhere to get those best ideas,” Hempel said in a statement. “With Minerva’s energy and smarts focused in this area, we will be able to increase our diverse talent pool, sharpen our consumer insights and better our creative product.”

Omnicom Group’s DDB is among several agencies that have created diversity leadership positions since New York City’s Human Rights Commission criticized the industry for its lack of minorities in late 2007. Sixteen agencies, including DDB, subsequently signed agreements with the commission that required them to meet certain annual hiring, retention and promotion goals when it comes to minorities and women.

Other shops with similar roles include WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather and Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson.

Garcia, 33, has worked in the office’s human resources department since 1998 and will continue to contribute to employee relations and staffing efforts. In that capacity, she reports to Wendy Raye, the shop’s human resources director.

Garcia also will serve on a worldwide diversity committee that Hempel described as “far-reaching.” He declined to identify its members or say how many staffers sit on the committee, however.