6 A.M.

Path to Leadership for Women



Edelman received an award last night from the Committee for Economic Development for its efforts in diversity. We began the GWEN (Global Women’s Empowerment Network) program last year to increase the number of women in leadership roles at Edelman. We now have 735 members of GWEN at the firm.

Edelman’s table at the CED Awards. From left: Gail Becker, Zing Shaw, Kym White

Here are the key points from my acceptance speech:

  1. We have to move from recognition of the problem to strategic business initiative that is measureable. The status quo will not change on its own
  2. This is a smart move for all businesses, in fact a business imperative, not a CSR program
  3. Establish a culture of sponsorship, beyond mentoring to advocating on behalf of qualified women
  4. Identify new roles for women, then work hard to encourage them to accept the next challenges
  5. Change policies, including Leave of Absence, Caregiver leave and flexible work hours
  6. Our goal remains the same; 50 percent of our leadership will be women by 2016

Let me know what you think….and what you are doing at your companies.

Richard Edelman is president and CEO

Photo credit:

  • Thank you for leading the way and establishing a path for other companies to follow. As a woman (and mother), the task of balancing work/life were at time close to impossible. However, with companies slowly adopting flexible hours, it gives me hope that I can pursue a career without neglecting my responsibilities as a mother.

  • Olivia Makinson

    Congratulations on your award and kudos to the entire Edelman team on this program. I really enjoy point #5 about changing policies; many companies make encouraging female leadership a priority but gloss over ways to make the day-to-day easier, such as flexible hours and leave of absence. It is refreshing to see a PR company on the forefront of this movement.

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