Saatchi & Saatchi have wheeled out their chief creative officer Kate Stanners in a damage limitation push after widespread criticism of remarks made by executive chairman Kevin Roberts, who claimed that the gender diversity debate in the advertising industry was ‘done’.
Acknowledging the criticism Stanners conceded that these unguarded comments had ‘upset a huge amount of employees’, adding: ‘I don’t believe in what he’s saying.’
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s today programme Stanners said: “I think women don't bale out. I think we do want the top jobs. I think the most important thing is encouraging women to be more vocal and more high profile so that younger women and women coming through the ranks can see that it is possible and that there is no reason why they can't take these jobs.
"There are different roles in our industry and you make a progression. A lot of things you need to do to encourage women into these roles are more proactive. Things around childcare that might make it harder, and I think people have to work towards making it an environment that encourages women."
Roberts, currently on a leave of absence, is a member of Saatchi & Saatchi parent Publicis Groupe’s management board and earned $3,389,330 in 2015, second only to the $4,345,005 earnings of chairman Maurice Levy.