M&C Saatchi CEO defends all male board saying adding female ‘isn’t going to change the world’

M&C's David Kershaw

M&C’s David Kershaw

The global CEO of ad agency M&C Saatchi has said he is “very happy” about the composition of its eight man global board, which does not feature any female representation.

David Kershaw told Campaign in the UK: “Making grand gestures like making a woman a non-exec isn’t going to change the world.”

Australian Bill Muirhead is one of the eight men on the board of the agency, which sparked a fierce debate about gender equality in the Australian ad industry after questions were raised about the choice of entertainment at its 21st birthday party.

The company is headquartered in the UK where there have been recommendations that a quarter of all boards be made up of female representatives. M&C Saatchi is due to appoint a new non-executive director by June.

“Rather than keeping the world happy by shoving a woman on to the plc board, I’m more interested in the number of women who are running our businesses,” he told Campaign.

According to Campaign he cited examples including Molly Hooper Aldridge, the global chief executive of M&C Saatchi PR, and Libby Robinson, the EMEA managing director of M&C Saatchi Mobile, as “encouraging” examples.

Earlier this week the company shared its full year results which showed the global group’s revenues had risen 5.6% for the year, but the Australasian and Asia group’s headline figures were down 17%, which it attributed to currency changes.


Alex Hayes

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