WPP leaders gonged for gender diversity, but age diversity still a concern

Fourteen leaders from across WPP have been named in the HERoes Women Role Model Lists 2021 for their work in championing women in business and creating a more gender diverse workplace.

Celebrating executives, future leaders and senior leader advocates, the three global lists showcase those who are leading by example and are committed to building more inclusive workplaces that champion gender diversity.

WPP Gender diversity

The list of WPP leaders recognised is below and includes employees across the WPP roster of firms, including Wunderman Thompson, Kantar, Landor & Fitch, VMLY&R, Ogilvy and MediaCom

Five women were also featured in the 100 Women Future Leaders List, also below. 

For the fourth year running, WPP CEO Mark Read has been named in the HERoes 50 Advocates List. 

Since his appointment in 2018, WPP has continued to build an inclusive culture in order to become an employer of choice for all – a key part of the company’s business and growth strategy. 

WPP has implemented a series of initiatives to achieve greater diversity across the business; in the last year this has included the formation of a dedicated global Inclusion Council and the introduction of incentive schemes for senior leadership to ensure accountability in delivering WPP’s diversity, equity and inclusion agenda.

These measures will help to accelerate progress to date on gender diversity, which has seen increases in female representation to 51% of senior managers, 40% of senior executives and 43% of WPP’s Board members. 

Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “Our success is powered by our people, our ideas and our ability to deliver results for clients. 

“People do their best work in an open and inclusive culture that provides everyone with the opportunity to develop and thrive, so to see our talented female leaders recognised is further evidence of the value of diverse leadership and the progress we are making.”

Lack of age diversity in adland

The accolades below show how powerful and important an organisation WPP is on the global marketing scene, and how important it is that companies continue to drive up gender and diversity commitments in the workplace.

However, Mediashotz feels strongly that diversity must also include age diversity, which is something that WPP’s CEO Read was worryingly reported as apparently discriminating against during an investor call last year.

As people live longer and are required to work longer, the opportunities in companies like WPP for older men and women are shockingly thin on the ground. 

WPP is not alone in this, and we hope to see and hear evidence of more age diversity in the industry, and WPP in particular.   

HERoes 100 Women Executives List:

Mel Edwards, Global CEO, Wunderman Thompson (#19)
Caroline Frankum, Global CEO, Profiles Division, Kantar
Jane Geraghty, Group Global CEO, Landor & Fitch
Lindsay Pattison, Chief Client Officer, WPP
Aisling Ryan, Managing Partner and Global Consulting Principal, Ogilvy
Sue Unerman, Chief Transformation Officer, MediaCom UK
Debbi Vandeven, Global Chief Creative Officer, VMLY&R

HERoes 100 Women Future Leaders List:

Shelina Janmohamed, Vice President – Islamic Marketing, Ogilvy (#6)
Mamaa Duker, Associate Director – Business Development, WPP
Valerie Henninger, Senior Partner – Managing Director, Mindshare
Paola Maffezzoni, Head of Marketing & Communications, GroupM Italy
Stephanie Robles, Director of Global Accounts, Xaxis

HERoes 50 Advocates List:

Mark Read, CEO, WPP (#4)