Interpublic and its Women’s Leadership Network is to hold a seminar called Beyond Mad Men: Towards Gender Diversity in Creative Roles on Tuesday, June 21 at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
The seminar, the first in IPG’s Diversity + Inclusion programme, will be hosted by CEO Michael Roth And Kitty Lun, chairman of IPG’s Lowe & Partners China. The panel will feature famous businesswoman Martha Stewart (pictured) who was briefly jailed in 2005 for a share dealing offence but whose career as a publisher and media personality has since recovered.
The other panelists include Johnson & Johnson global marketing boss Kimberley Kadlec and the female heads of a number of IPG companies. It will be moderated by CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien.
Roth says: “When you look at the US and European markets, women make up about 50 per cent of the advertising industry workforce. But recent studies in those markets show that in the US only 38 per cent of the executive ranks in our industry are women, and in the UK, management is only 22 per cent female, confirming a gender gap.
” And if you look within creative departments, you see an even greater imbalance. Industry-wide, we see an opportunity to be more competitive with recruiting and promoting talented woman into the most senior roles in our creative disciplines.”
“Globally, women make up the fastest growing demographic in emerging markets, so it makes business sense that the people who are asked to develop ‘the big idea’ to reach these consumers are also representative of those consumers.
“We hope this first of its kind program at Cannes can help begin a dialogue with a goal of identifying ways for the industry to improve.”
It should also be a timely reminder to clients (and indeed ambitious female ad execs) that IPG is the place to find women bosses.