Dr Mumbo

How Leo Burnett’s female management numbers have jumped by 300% since last week

Dr Mumbo would like to offer his hearty congratulations to Leo Burnett staffers Sarah Palmer and Emma Montgomery for their well deserved promotion to the agency’s Sydney management team.

Both have been added to the team picture within the last 48 hours or so, tripling the number of women featured from one to three.

Palmer, head of talent management, has been with Leos for 11 years. Montgomery, who leads the planning team, for nearly two years.

The picture which triggered Cindy Gallop's tweets

The timing of the decision to put them both into the management picture is of course entirely unrelated to last week’s furore over the agency’s tone deaf new creatives picture featuring seven men.

Happily, the Internet Archive Wayback Machine keeps track of such things, so Dr Mumbo is able to celebrate the evolution of what has cruelly been described as Todd’s sausage fest.

September 2013: Here’s the first available version of the management picture, featuring Todd Sampson, Pete Bosilkovski, Andy DiLallo and Amir Mireskandari. (Male ratio: 100%):

September 2013:


July 2014: Sadly Amir has gone (to join M&C Saatchi). Now it’s just the three amigos. Todd makes a rare trip to the right hand side of the picture.  (Male ratio: Still 100%)

July 2014:


September 2014: It’s lonely at the top, and only Todd makes the top line of the pic. (Let’s call that a male ratio of 110%):

September 2014:


But if you scroll down, you do find other team members below Todd…

September 2014


… and if you scroll down far enough, here’s the first appearance from a woman, client services director Amanda Quested

September 2014


December 2014: And now they’re all united in one pic. CFO Puvanan Thuraisamy is there, as is ops director Jeremy De Villiers and Quested. (The male ratio is 83%):

December 2014:


But by May 2015, DiLallo has also headed for M&C Saatchi. And the best men for the job to replace him are Vince Lagana and Grant McAloon. Perhaps in a mark of solidarity with Quested, they also fold their arms. But the ratio is back up to 86% male.

May 2015


November 13, 2015: Suddenly, after years of service, Montgomery and Palmer are worthy of being listed as management.

November 2015


Admittedly the reworking appears to have been a little rushed, so Palmer and De Villiers are relegated to the second rung of the page. And Dr Mumbo wonders if Montgomery’s male predecessor Russ Mitchinson will wonder why he was never considered senior enough to be in the picture.

Regardless, Dr Mumbo hopes that both women get a pay rise, now they are officially full members of the Sydney management team.

And now the agency leadership’s female ratio is all the way up to 33%. What idiot suggested the Leos had handled the whole thing badly?


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