Says Melinda Geertz, chief executive officer, Leo Burnett Australia:
"VivaWomen! is an accelerator for change, and I'm so proud to be part of
the team bringing this initiative to Australia. There's a grass roots
momentum driving progressive conversations about diversity and gender,
and there's a growing expectation that organisations step up and meet
the challenges. It's an exciting time for change, and we have a
responsibility to make the most of it for every woman working in our
Says Julie Dormand, managing director of MercerBell: "We
consulted with a broad group of women to make sure that VivaWomen! in
Australia drives real outcomes - with programs that genuinely support
and enable the 1000+ women in our Groupe to thrive."
As its first
initiative, VivaWomen! has driven the development and launch of a new
parental leave policy. The policy, which is rolling out across the
Groupe this year, addresses a number of aspects of parental leave,
including industry-leading parental leave payments, as well as
flexibility and increased support during the return-to-work months.
Sarah Palmer, head of talent, Leo Burnett Australia: "Many of us have
children, and we know firsthand how important it is to have the right
financial, workplace and cultural supports in place. There's nothing
easy about balancing family and work. We saw it as imperative to create a
parental leave policy that went well beyond the basics, so Hugh Wilson
(head of talent at Publicis) and I consulted broadly to get this right."
addition, this month, VivaWomen! launches its "Mentoring in the
Mid-Years" program. 170 women from 13 different brands will participate
in events and workshops in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The program
recognises the particular challenges of women in their mid-careers and
aims to help them build the confidence, tools and motivation to step up
into senior roles in their agencies.
Other priority programs in 2018 will focus on pay equality, unconscious bias and sexual harassment and bullying.
Geertz: "VivaWomen! must be a program of action and outcomes. We are
all deeply committed; we see how much everyone - women AND men -- in our
Groupe want this from us. I'm proud that our Groupe values fairness and
equality, and that they stand behind us in our efforts to support and
promote our amazing women."
(Pictured L-R: Sarah Palmer, Shelby Robinson, Pauly Grant, Julie Dormand, Melinda Geertz)