Maxus CEO Lindsay Pattison got a little tired of being one of only a few women in the room. Not one to let things lie, she committed to make a change.
Despite being a young agency with a fairly equal gender split of 54% female: 46% male, just 27% of its top positions were held by women. At a higher level within parent company Group M Lindsay was the only female CEO. It was a problem with serious consequences; the media industry should reflect the wider world where women account for massive spend. It could easily be accused of being out of touch by clients who need it to be more in touch than ever. The ethical case was strong and the business case even stronger.
Introducing Walk The Talk, a bespoke programme
We worked with the senior team to create a programme that amplified female talent and allowed both male and female colleagues to collaboratively stand side by side. At its very heart was a series of intensive 2-day workshops for 200 high potential women from all over the world. We worked across The Americas, EMEA and APAC where women gained clarity around their values, energy management, inner saboteurs and their bigger game. What emerged was a compelling vision of their future at Maxus. Crucially, Linsday Pattison supported the programme by being at each workshop and by talking to the entire Maxus community about the financial case for equality.
The ripple effect was felt immediately
All 200 women accepted the responsibility to drive gender equality through the network, introducing new behaviours and tools into their respective markets. Women immediately started to step up and be bold about the work and promotions they wanted, with over 15% promoted within four months of the programme ending. There has been a noticeable difference in how offices support all staff and all employees are now making a more equal impact on the wider industry. And as one would expect from a business that talks about change, Maxus is now leading the very change it wanted to see.
The winner is...
The winner is...
- 95% now feel empowered to lead change
- 91% will ask for help to get to the top
- 20% have been promoted since WTT