Archives

Karen Blackett

In January 2018, Karen became the first UK Country Manager for WPP, whilst also retaining her position as Chairwoman of MediaCom in the UK & Ireland. She has spent 7 years focused on changing the diversity of MediaCom in the UK to make it a more inclusive culture via partnerships with specialist talent companies, launching and continuing to evolve an Apprenticeship scheme which has now been running for over 7 years, setting KPI’s for each Managing Director across the UK offices focused on increasing diversity of their teams, and launching a programme of talks and training. In her WPP role, Karen is taking the same systematic approach to ensuring the 14,000 people employed at WPP in the UK truly reflect modern Britain and their clients’ customers. Karen has launched WPP Roots, inspired by Ogilvy Roots, a group-wide cultural inclusion programme. Roots’ mission is to change the way in which case the organisation talks, discusses and approaches ethnicity, race, culture and religion within the industry, and through the work. The goal is to ensure greater representation across the board. In September 2018, Karen was appointed by the UK Prime Minister as the Race Equality Champion for Business, supporting companies to sign up to BITC Race at Work Charter, which is committed to increasing ethnic diversity in the workplace. She has advised the U.K. Governments Civil Service on D&I, and in February 2019 was appointed a Non-Executive to the Cabinet Office. Karen co-chairs The Advertising Industry Diversity Taskforce and judges the Black British Business Awards. As Chancellor of Portsmouth University, she is committed to increasing the number of BAME students and staff.