Practice Leader, DE&I Client Engagement
Abenaa (Abby) Hayes serves as Practice Leader of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Client Engagement, an offering that’s focused on insights-based, purpose-driven culturally relevant counsel geared towards developing programming and activations that are infused with DE&I. Key areas of focus include COVID-19 health inequities, racial and socioeconomic health disparities, as well as DE&I strategy and program development counsel.
Abby brings more than 20 years of experience in healthcare communications, helping US and global healthcare companies reach stakeholders, influencers and communities through transformative narratives, dynamic storytelling and meaningful engagement. Building on a personal passion for community health and health equity, Abby is also a champion of racial and social equity in the communications industry. She both founded and currently serves as the executive sponsor of the company’s DE&I Steering Council, while also acting as a key driver of business resource group activations and the company’s DE&I thought leadership. She’s also a core member of the Gender Parity Collaborative, a consortium of award-winning healthcare and life-sciences companies dedicated to accelerating gender parity and diversity.
Prior to W2O, Abby was at Edelman, where she was the senior lead and brand strategist driving digital, influencer and scientific storytelling for brands. While at Edelman, Hayes co-founded and co-chaired the agency’s Black Employee Resource Group, Edelman Griot.
Over the course of her career, Abby held leadership positions at Weber Shandwick, Ogilvy, MSL Health and Cohn & Wolfe. She graduated from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California with a Master of Arts degree in broadcast journalism and holds an honors Bachelor of Arts degree in English from McGill University in Montreal.