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Publicis Groupe Australia strives for real outcomes with VivaWomen! launch

Publicis Groupe Australia's Sarah Palmer, Shelby Robinson, Pauly Grant, Julie Dormand, Melinda Geertz

Publicis Groupe Australia has rolled out the local chapter of the group’s global VivaWomen! initiative, which aims to drive real outcomes for women in the network.

VivaWomen! is a business resource group which pledges to “empower and inspire action and collaboration to ensure the equal contribution and value of women in the ‘Power of One’.”

Melinda Geertz, chief executive officer, Leo Burnett Australia, said the Australian chapter aims to champion a positive and progressive voice to enable the 1000 local women within the Publicis Groupe to thrive.

“VivaWomen! is an accelerator for change,” said Geertz. “There’s a grassroots momentum driving progressive conversations about diversity and gender, and there’s a growing expectation that organisations step up and meet the challenges. It’s an exciting time for change, and we have a responsibility to make the most of it for every woman working in our Groupe.”

The global initiative is credited with developing and launching Publicis Groupe’s new parental leave policy, which rolls out this year. Locally, the initiative will launch a range of programs addressing mentoring, pay equality, unconscious bias and sexual harassment and bullying.

The mentoring program will see 170 women from 13 brands participate in events and workshops across Australia. The program aims to address the challenges facing women in their mid-careers and provide them with the tools, motivation and confidence to progress into senior roles in their agencies.

“VivaWomen! must be a program of action and outcomes. We are all deeply committed; we see how much everyone – women AND men -- in our Groupe want this from us. I’m proud that our Groupe values fairness and equality, and that they stand behind us in our efforts to support and promote our amazing women,” said Geertz.

The launch is being led by Leo Burnett’s Melinda Geertz and Sarah Palmer, Mercer Bell’s Julie Dormand, Publicis Media’s Pauly Grant and Sapient Razorfish’s Shelby Robinson.

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