'If you’re still just reading papers & watching TV you don’t deserve your job' says Maxus global CEO

Business leaders can't bury their heads in the sand when it comes to new forms of media consumption - if they do they don't deserve their jobs, according to Maxus global group chief executive Lindsay Pattison.

Speaking at IAB Mobile Engage today (14 May) Pattison, who became the agency’s CEO just seven months ago, said being a leader means staying current.

“If you’re not reading up on everything and experiencing those things, like buying Chromecast or subscribing to Netflix, if you’re still just reading newspapers and watching TV then you don’t deserve to be in your job.”

Meanwhile, Pattison added that the biggest lesson she has taken from moving to a global role is “control versus influence”.

“As a global leader it’s your job to influence, to inspire people to go in the same direction,” she said.

Pattison is one of only three female CEOs across the WPP group, and the only female global GroupM chief. She is also currently president of WACL (Women in Advertising and Communications), a group consisting of 150 of the most senior women in the industry. On the subject of women in leadership roles, she said not enough is being done.

“I spoke at Festival of Media in Rome this week on the day one and I was the first woman on stage. All middle-aged white men - not that I have anything against middle-aged white men - my husband is one. But that’s not good enough. Only 15 per cent of those entering the industry are female and then you look at senior management. The media industry is pretty good, I think we’re about 25 per cent women, but there are only five FTSE 100 CEOs who are women,” she said.

“There are societal, cultural pressures that happen, so how do we make work more flexible? Women need an arm around them to say they can do it, and sometimes they need a kick up the backside. We’re not good enough. So it’s incumbent on us all.”

Pattison has previosuly written on the subject of the gender pay gap for The Drum. You can read her opinion column here.

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