WPP leaders recognised in the FT and HERoes Champions of Women in Business 2018 list

20 Sep 2018


Ten WPP leaders have been named in the FT & HERoes Champions of Women in Business 2018 list, which recognises both female role models and those who are committed to supporting women through the talent pipeline.

WPP UK Country Manager Karen Blackett OBE and WPP Chief Transformation Officer Lindsay Pattison were named as role models and champions in the 100 Female Executives category.

Karen has championed diversity of all types, including launching an industry-first Apprenticeship Scheme for 18-24 year olds, a Women Returners programme and a female empowerment programme as chair of WPP agency MediaCom. Karen is one of four external advisors helping to diversify the Civil Service, and in her role as WPP UK Country Manager she has established an Inclusion Board with a leadership exchange and programmes focused on reverse mentoring and cultural inclusion.

As a passionate and vocal campaigner for gender equality, Lindsay has led change programmes to support talent and leadership development and diversity, including launching the Walk the Talk initiative at Maxus while she was Global CEO. Now adopted globally by WPP, it helps senior women to overcome the practical, cultural and psychological barriers to achieving their potential.

Also identified by the FT & HERoes as one of 50 male executives who have championed women during his career is WPP CEO Mark Read. As CEO at Wunderman Mark led the expansion of the company’s parental leave policy and championed programmes such as Pass It On, a global initiative to get more women into senior leadership roles.

In addition, seven female leaders in WPP agencies were celebrated for their achievements in promoting gender equality: Sue Unerman, Chief Transformation Officer at MediaCom, Caroline Frankum, Global CEO at Lightspeed, Mel Edwards, CEO at Wunderman, Jennifer Da Silva, President at Berlin Cameron, Nicole Lonsdale, Chief Planning Officer at Kinetic, Helene Silverman, SVP Client Relations at Lightspeed Research and Rachel Pashley, Group Planning Head and Planning Lead at Female Tribes at J. Walter Thompson.

WPP CEO Mark Read said: “There is a lot of work to do within WPP and across the industry to improve gender balance at the most senior levels. However, we take encouragement from the fact that so many of our leaders have been recognised as FT & HERoes role models, which reflects our deep commitment to attracting, developing and promoting female talent.”

FT & HERoes 100 Female Executives category:
Karen Blackett OBE, UK Country Manager, WPP (6)
Sue Unerman, Chief Transformation Officer, MediaCom (11)
Caroline Frankum, Global CEO, Lightspeed (18)
Lindsay Pattison, Chief Transformation Officer, WPP (34)
Mel Edwards, CEO, Wunderman (44)
Jennifer Da Silva, President, Berlin Cameron (46)
Nicole Lonsdale, Chief Planning Officer, Kinetic (64)
Helene Silverman, SVP, Client Relations, Lightspeed Research (86)
FT & HERoes 50 Male Executives category:
Mark Read, CEO, WPP (25)
FT & HERoes 50 Female Future Leaders category:
Rachel Pashley, Group Planning Head and Planning Lead at Female Tribes, J. Walter Thompson (41)

Further information
Niken Wresniwiro, WPP
+44 (0)20 7408 2204

About WPP
WPP is the world leader in communications services. The company provides a comprehensive range of services including digital, ecommerce & shopper marketing; advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; brand consulting; health & wellness communications; and specialist communications.
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