Recently, we appointed Lisa Kimmel, President and CEO of Edelman Canada, as global chair of Edelman’s Global Women’s Executive Network, known as GWEN. GWEN facilitates networking, mentoring, recruiting, collaborating and career planning for women across Edelman with the objective to increase the presence of women leaders at the most senior levels of the firm. When we launched GWEN in 2011, 37 percent of the agency’s leadership positions were held by women. We initially had hoped to bring that number to 50 percent within five years. We are currently at 40 percent. But we have made progress in many areas. Women account for 36 percent of our Executive Committee, up from 25 percent, women are half of our global client leaders, up from 33 percent and women run our two largest operations: Jen Cohan oversees our largest office, New York, and Carol Potter leads our European region and is supported by Michelle Hutton, European COO and Ana Burke, CFO of Edelman Europe.
Here, in my first-ever video blog, Lisa and I speak about GWEN, the opportunities and challenges for women in the industry, what we as leaders need to do to create an environment that encourages women to lead and succeed and how Edelman will reach the 50 percent goal by 2020.