For many first generation immigrants, assimilation into mainstream society is a top priority.   For Nancy Reyes, the daughter of an El Salvadorian mother, it was a necessity borne out of fear of  immigration enforcement and deportation.

Having fully assimilated, the Harvard-educated ad executive eventually found that reconnecting with her “authentic self” was important in her life.  And, it has been essential in her  career, leading to her role as president of the New York office of Omnicom creative shop TBWA/Chiat/Day.

Interviewing Reyes is Rita Ferro, who credits her identity as a Latina, with her own success. Ferro is President of Disney Advertising Sales.

In this wide ranging conversation, Reyes addresses her agency’s various actions in actualizing diversity and inclusion.  But she says  it’s very much a work in progress.  Hiring diverse employees is not the challenge, it is the need for talent development and mentorship that is often missing, she says

Reyes addresses the of role of creative agencies in changing attitudes around racial bias.  While the advertising industry made important statements after the George Floyd murder, she fears that marketers will become “conversative,” pulling back on”uncomfortable” messages.

This 5-part series abut diversity and inclusion is made possible by a generous contribution to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico from Disney Advertising Sales.

Editor’s Note: Since 2017, I have been been an advocate for this group. Please find the latest video report from San Juan with the Clubs’ president Olga Ramos. You can make a tax deductible contribution right here.

Gracias Rita and Nancy.