WPP's Mindshare is introducing Community X, a women’s leadership initiative in partnership with Charlotte Beers, former Chairman/CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and Under Secretary of State in the United States.
The program brings both Mindshare executives and agency clients together, making it more unique than a standard female leadership training or retreat programs.
Under this format, female leaders join female client leads for an intensive learning program to empower one another. By choosing women who are already in or who are headed for big global leadership roles at both clients and agencies, Mindshare expects Community X to become a catalyst for change, with participants paving a way for other women to grow into leadership roles.
"The program will provide the luxury of time for them to ponder and shape further how they want to lead," says program leader Beers.
It also is designed to serve as an investment in women leaders, helping Mindshare client partners better tackle this issue, working side-by-side with the female leadership at Fortune 500 brands, they say. Together it’s about having a larger global impact across our industry.
“Bringing likeminded women together in the industry is extremely critical to foster personal and professional growth," says Gail Tifford, vice president of media and digital engagement for Unilever North America. "Being able to share my story and gain different insights and perspectives has helped me fine tune my personal purpose. The session broke down walls, which allowed us to dig deeper and understand the impact of nature vs. nurture experiences in our lives—not only how it helped me get to where I am, but also how it may hold me back as I look to progress.”
Community X launched with two sessions, bringing together clients from CPG, automotive, sports, and beauty with Mindshare UK CEO and chair of Western Europe Helen McRae and Mindshare NA Chief Strategy Officer Cindy Gustafson to focus on leadership styles and impact.
“It’s awesomely indulgent that Mindshare would facilitate a workshop whereby you can take time out for multiple days to focus on yourself and your development," says Gustafson. "Not to think about your client work or the agency – but YOU – as a person. WHY you work, how fulfilled are you, what is holding you back and what has propelled you forward is rare and incredibility productive.”
The concept for this program originally grew out of WPP's X Factor events that supported women within its own network, says Nick Emery, Global CEO of Mindshare. The agency has long been proud of its diverse teams around the world with three of its top five markets led by female CEOs, its top global accounts run by women leads and 10 of 16 Asian markets led by women. Furthermore, women lead at least half of its top 10 accounts in the U.S. and represent 50% of Executive Directors in the U.S.
The global media agency network consists of more than 7,000 employees, in 116 offices across 86 countries spread throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Mindshare is part of GroupM, which oversees the media investment management sector for WPP.