Chairman of advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi Kevin Roberts has been put on leave for saying the debate on gender bias in the advertising industry is “all over”.
However, women “do want the top jobs” in leading advertising firms, a senior female executive at Saatchi and Saatchi says.
Kate Stanners, global chief creative officer, said despite this, the lack of female leaders was an “industry-wide problem” and women needed greater encouragement and more role models.
In an interview with Business Insider, published on Friday, Roberts said Saatchi and Saatchi had a number of talented women who “reach a certain point in their careers” and that in two out of three occasions rejected the chance to become creative directors.
She said women “don’t bail out, and do want the top jobs”.
The most important thing was “encouraging women to be more vocal and more high-profile, so younger women and women coming through the ranks can see it is possible and there is no reason why they can’t take those jobs”, she added.
She said there were problems across the advertising industry with women attaining senior positions – but the situation was getting better only because leading women were acting as role models.