Kevin Roberts, chairman of advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi, has been put on ‘leave of absence’ for making some perfectly reasonable comments about gender

Our thanks to a number of people for pointing us to this.

The parent company of Saatchi & Saatchi is Publicis. The BBC piece includes some weasel words from the CEO of Publicis:

“It is for the gravity of these statements that Kevin Roberts has been asked to take a leave of absence from Publicis Groupe effective immediately,” Publicis chief executive Maurice Levy said. “As a member of The Directoire, it will ultimately be the Publicis Groupe Supervisory Board’s duty to further evaluate his standing.”

He added: “While fostering a work environment that is inclusive of all talent is a collective responsibility, it is leadership’s job to nurture the career aspirations and goals of all our talent. Promoting gender equality starts at the top and the Groupe will not tolerate anyone speaking for our organisation who does not value the importance of inclusion.”

Truly pathetic.

3 thoughts on “Kevin Roberts, chairman of advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi, has been put on ‘leave of absence’ for making some perfectly reasonable comments about gender

  1. I was reminded recently that there is a trader who looks for companies that make diversity and gender equality statement ( like the brain trust). Then they wait until the shares value drop and then buys in.

    i suspect there will be an eye cast on saatchi and publis share prices.

    BTW – why does that last paragraph by the CEO of Publicis read like
    “yeah so what, but FFS don’t say it in public because we wlil cop it”

    Lisen stromberg isn’t exactly a stellar CEO is she?
    head of her own touchy feely organisation prism work ( a one person company according to her linkedin). I bet the world is falling over itself to beat a path to her door.

    just wondering whether cindy gallop would like to focus on the lack of diversity of non whites and how perhaps there are too many white women calling the shots rather than non whites, how about that for diversity cindy ?

  2. Just now, on the BBC Breakfast program, an ‘expert’ in the studio admitted that there is no evidence that women (in any industry sector) are being paid less for the same job than men. Yet she was still ‘suprised’ by Kevin Roberts’s statement.

    Gina Wilson, partner in law firm Clyde & Co:
    I am suprised given that there has been a lot of publicity about gender equality, in particular within the advertising sector. Of course what we don’t know is the full context but it does perhaps show some naivety on his part in making those comments.

    Indeed, in a country that has signed up to (though has yet to fully implement) the Istanbul Convention, which effectively outlaws any anti-feminist statement, perhaps Kevin’s statement is naive. The fact that 66% of his company’s employees are female today is clearly not enough to satisfy the requirement for feminist ‘equality’ and possibly Mr Roberts was imagining he lived in a free country where facts of the situation mattered over feminist dogma.

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