WPP leaders honoured in the Heroes Women Role Model Lists 2022

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Eighteen leaders across WPP have been named in Involve and Yahoo Finance’s Heroes Women Role Model Lists for their work in championing women in business and nurturing a more gender diverse and inclusive workplace.

Heroes Women Role Model Lists 2022

Recognised for leading by example and driving positive change to increase gender diversity in business environments, Wunderman Thompson’s Global CEO Mel Edwards (#10), WPP’s UK Country Manager and GroupM UK CEO Karen Blackett OBE (#11), WPP’s Chief People Officer Jennifer Remling, WPP’s Chief Information Officer Rachel Higham, Kantar’s Global CEO – Profiles Division Caroline Frankum, MediaCom UK’s Chief Transformation Officer Sue Unerman, VMLY&R’s Global Chief Creative Officer Debbi Vandeven and GroupM’s Regional Head of Learning in UK & EMEA Sandra Arnold, all feature on the Heroes 100 Women Executive List.

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A further eight women from across the WPP network were recognised on the 100 Women Future Leaders List, which spotlights those making a significant contribution to gender diversity at work. 

Heroes Women – Future Leaders

These include: Paola Maffezzoni, PR & Marketing Director for WPP in Italy  and Head of Marketing and Communications for GroupM, Italy (#15), GroupM and WPP;  Leigh Kelly Andrews, Content Marketing Manager, MEA, Kantar; Jacquie Van der Veur, Senior Communications Manager, VMLY&R; Shelina Janmohamed, Vice President, Islamic Marketing, Ogilvy Consulting; Daniela Gauntlett, Learning and Development Manager, GroupM; Tejal Shah, Head of HR Strategy and Transformation, Kantar; Allison Wolf, Senior Associate, Invention+, Mindshare; and Filiz Besler, Director of Product and Platform Operations, Xaxis.

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VMLY&R’s Global Chief People Officer Ronnie Felder (#20) is also named in the HERoes 50 Advocates list, and joins WPP CEO Mark Read (#10), who was recognised for the fifth consecutive year.

WPP said it continues to build an open and inclusive culture that aims to be the employer of choice for all, implementing a number of initiatives to improve gender diversity across the business.

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This includes partnering with the Brixton Finishing School and the Uninvisibility Project to launch VisibleStart, a free UK training programme for women over the age of 45 who want to enter or re-join the industry; enrolling the third cohort on WPP’s Elevate sponsorship programme in 2022, designed to provide tools to support Black women in their career growth and personal development; updating the company’s parental leave policies across the network in the UK and the US which recognise the challenges of balancing work with family responsibilities and their disproportionate impact on women in the workplace; and being the first of its peers to sign the Don’t Ban Equality statement and update its benefits plan in the US to provide funding for travel that allows consistent access to healthcare and resources, including abortion care.

In 2022, WPP was also recognised in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the fourth year in a row and named the third best UK company for gender equality in Equileap’s 2022 Gender Equality Global Report & Ranking and sixth globally.

WPP also moved up to 8th from 10th place in the 2021 FTSE 100 Women Leaders Review ranking for gender representation on boards and in leadership.

Mark Read, CEO of WPP, said: “For WPP, a diverse workforce is a business imperative. 

“Our success as a company is driven by our extraordinary people and their ideas, which is why we continue to invest in building an inclusive culture to make WPP the destination for the best talent in the world. 

“I’m proud that this year’s Heroes Women Role Model Lists recognise so many of our amazing leaders who are championing inclusion and driving greater gender diversity across our business.”

Heroes Executives

  • Mel Edwards, Global CEO, Wunderman Thompson (#10)
  • Karen Blackett OBE, Country Manager, WPP in the UK and CEO, GroupM UK (#11)
  • Jennifer Remling, Chief People Officer, WPP
  • Rachel Higham, Chief Information Officer, WPP
  • Caroline Frankum, Global CEO, Profiles Division, Kantar
  • Sue Unerman, Chief Transformation Officer, MediaCom UK
  • Debbi Vandeven, Global Chief Creative Officer, VMLY&R
  • Sandra Arnold, Regional Head of Learning, UK & EMEA, GroupM

Heroes Future Leaders

  • Paola Maffezzoni, PR & Marketing Director – Italy, WPP and GroupM (#15)
  • Leigh Kelly Andrews, Content Marketing Manager, MEA, Kantar
  • Jacquie van der Veur, Senior Communications Manager, VMLY&R
  • Shelina Janmohamed, Vice President, Islamic Marketing, Ogilvy Consulting
  • Daniela Gauntlett, Learning and Development Manager, GroupM
  • Tejal Shah, Head of HR Strategy and Transformation, Kantar
  • Allison Wolf, Senior Associate, Invention+, Mindshare
  • Filiz Besler, Director of Product and Platform Operations, Xaxis

Heroes Advocates

  • Mark Read, CEO, WPP (#10)
  • Ronnie Felder, Global Chief People Officer, VMLY&R (#20)

(#) indicates that the individual received a top 20 ranking