Every March 8th, women around the world are championed as part of International Women’s Day, a celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women for their economic, political and social achievements. And as you may or may not know, March is also Women’s History Month.
In conjunction with these events, Publicis Dallas and the United Nations created a movement encouraging men to use their voices to speak out for women’s equality called “He for She.” I am incredibly proud of our work on this project, and as March comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to lend my voice to the cause to highlight some of the incredibly inspiring women of Publicis Worldwide, North America.
In the “Mad Men” world of advertising, it’s incredibly impressive to point out the number of women in leadership roles across the board at Publicis. They are the backbone of this agency and continue to move us forward on the path to success.
One of these remarkable women is Chairman of Publicis Worldwide, North America, Susan Gianinno.
I have had the pleasure of working beside Susan for years. In that time, Susan has never failed to surprise and impress me. Her incredibly extensive background includes earning two psychology degrees, holding a non-partisan advisory position on George H.W. Bush’s Task Force on Terrorism, and being the first women on the board of directors at four major advertising agencies. Susan has an amazing intellect and a voracious appetite for knowledge. She was recently invited to participate in the prestigious Advanced Leadership Fellowship at Harvard University, and is currently focusing on world healthcare alongside a handful of other notable executives.
Simply put, Susan is a tour de force. Few possess the strategic and creative smarts and business savvy found in our Chairman. A bright spark and an enthusiasm to collaborate make Susan both an inspirational leader and an active and invaluable member of our team.
When speaking about powerful women in advertising, one of the first names that comes to mind is our own Linda Kaplan Thaler, Chairman of Publicis Kaplan Thaler. She built an agency powerhouse whose humble beginnings were housed in her own residential brownstone in New York City, and now 17 years later, is home to a staff of over 700 people. Over the years, she has created some of the most loved and iconic ad campaigns of our time. From penning the unforgettable phrase “Kodak Moment,” to envisioning the Aflac duck, to creating that indelible childhood jingle, “I don’t wanna grow up. I’m a Toys-R-Us kid,” Linda has been creating ad history all along. On top of that, she is a best-selling author and a part of pop culture, appearing on TV shows like Donald Trump’s Apprentice.
“Frankly, Linda has had a remarkable career building incredibly iconic brands, whether it be Kodak or Aflac,” shared Rob Feakins, Publicis Kaplan Thaler’s Chief Creative Officer and close colleague of Linda’s. “Linda is inspiring and an absolute pleasure to work with. She’s a virtuoso in that she’s a powerful writer, musician, presenter and a natural leader.”
Sally Kennedy has spent her professional life developing and executing precision business strategies for some of the world’s most famous brands. As CEO of the newly merged Publicis Hawkeye, her business acumen has inspired me and impacted our Dallas office with great results.
“Sally is amazing in so many ways, but it’s her zeal for every facet of the business, from the smallest detail to the biggest pitch that is truly amazing,” added Brad Roseberry, Chief Creative Officer, Publicis Hawkeye and a close collaborator of Sally Kennedy. “Her enthusiasm and drive is so infectious, you just can’t help but be inspired by her intelligence, drive and work ethic. She’s a true leader in every sense of the word.”
The list doesn’t end there. Some of our most impressive women include our Chief Talent Officer, Patricia Enright, whose dedication to finding us the best and brightest is endless. We also have four women elevating the agency’s insightful strategy to new heights for each and every one of our clients: Carla Serrano in New York, Julie Liss in San Francisco, Britt Peterson Ferro in Seattle and Mary Chambers in Canada. Three astoundingly talented women, Angela Pasqualucci, Gail Hollander and Marjorie Porter manage P&G’s worldwide oral care, family care and home care teams with unprecedented success. The always impressive Katie Bury is our General Manager and beating heart of our healthcare and pharmaceutical business. From corporate communications to social strategy, user experience to creative, women at this agency are an integral part of its day-to-day business and its continued success.
The many women that propel this agency forward do it with boundless energy, magnetic personalities and a contagious passion. As the father of a truly incredible teenage daughter it is my hope that such women of character surround Andrea, uncovering and encouraging the promise that imbues her being.
Celebrating the character, courage and commitment of women for one month a year is a lost opportunity. To truly celebrate women, it should be expressed in our everyday actions and interactions.