Wunderman Thompson hires first EMEA inclusion and diversity director

Global marketing communications agency Wunderman Thompson has appointed Sufia Parkar to the new role of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) inclusion and diversity director.

Parkar joins the agency, which is owned by communication and advertising company WPP, from McCann Worldgroup, where she was global associate director of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Her new role will see her join forces with chief people officer EMEA Hazel Boyle as well as global chief DEI officer Ezinne Okoro.

She will report to Okoro on day-to-day operations and to Ewen Sturgeon, chief executive of Wunderman Thompson EMEA and Asia-Pacific, overall.

The inaugural IPA iList in 2020, which honoured people dedicated to diversity and inclusivity within the ad industry included Parkar. She volunteers part-time as an interview coach at social enterprises, advises at Media for All and is part of the steering committee for the TimeTo initiative.

Parkar explained that she believes there are “incredible” things already happening at Wunderman Thompson and she is looking to build upon something “fantastic”, as she has seen the industry speak of diversity and inclusion as a regulatory hurdle for too long.

“When we have people with diverse experiences, diverse perspectives and diverse backgrounds, it inspires us to learn from one another. It unlocks new ways of thinking, of being more creative and being the best versions of ourselves. I can see that Wunderman Thompson is doing this in a way that deeply excites me and makes me want to be a part of the team,” she said.

Sturgeon added: “We are incredibly pleased to welcome Sufia into this role. She has incredibly valuable experience and an eye for collaborative work that will bring benefits throughout our organisation. Her vision of the future matches our own and we are looking forward to the great work we can do together.”