New York, NY, June 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) announced today that it has appointed Heide Gardner to the newly-created position of Global Culture Officer. She currently serves as IPG’s Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. In her new position, Gardner will take a leadership role in shaping the values-based company’s strategic, long-term vision on a broad range of social justice issues and well-being for underserved and under-represented communities, and ways in which the company can engage with its clients and partners on these issues to achieve sustainable business goals.
As IPG’s first Global Culture Officer, Gardner will build on the long-standing position she has earned as an industry thought-leader, and will build strategic partnerships with a cross-section of businesses, NGOs, business leaders, creative communities, as well as academic institutions and other organizations shaping public policy. Gardner will also advise senior leadership across the enterprise, as well as continue to represent IPG for forums focused on systemic and structural change, such as the Unstereotype Alliance, United Nations Global Compact, The Business Roundtable, World Economic Forum on Diverse Representation in Media, Coqual, and the Executive Leadership Council.
Gardner will move into the Global Culture Officer role on August 1st, transitioning her current operational responsibilities to a new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer to be announced, who will take over day-to-day strategy and program delivery of the DE&I function across IPG, working in conjunction with DEI leadership at Interpublic’s companies.
Gardner has been widely recognized for her contributions to the diversity, equity and inclusion agenda especially within the advertising and marketing industry, where she was the driving force behind IPG’s award-winning initiatives and thought leadership.
“Since joining us in 2003, Heide has helped us build industry-leading programs that address a range of diversity and inclusion challenges and to make progress in our ongoing journey to improving equity across Interpublic. She is a sought-after leader on social justice and equity issues who consistently brings a valuable range of insights and experience to the table,” commented Philippe Krakowsky, CEO of IPG. “She’s therefore a natural choice to further build our thought and practice leadership in areas of social impact and equity. For many years, her insights and guidance have been integral to IPG’s senior leadership, as well as our operating unit leadership. And her ability to foster far-reaching collaborative relationships has made a mark not only within our sector, but also within the broader business community. Her new role as Global Culture Officer will allow her to dedicate more time to that type of broad-based, strategic activity. Heide’s ability to connect businesses with thought partners and community leaders places her among a small group that can effectively engage on larger, strategic issues at this time of great need,” he continued.
“I’m honored that Interpublic has asked me to serve as its first Global Culture Officer. It is an exciting opportunity to concentrate full-time on urgent and time-sensitive challenges that our industry, and all businesses, have tremendous power to address,” commented Heide Gardner. “After launching IPG’s DEI function and helping to frame some key policies for many years, I recognize how important it is to address transformation at a more macro level. This requires harnessing the power of collective action and partnerships, sharing learning and multidisciplinary work. IPG has given my work unwavering support, regardless of business conditions, for many years and they are now giving me the opportunity to concentrate on systemic cultural and policy issues, which is exciting. I also look forward to spending more time advising and working with our agency CEOs, various business partners, advocates, thought leaders and policy influencers to drive change,” she continued.
“As we all know, Heide has helped us put diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of IPG’s values and business strategy for many years,” commented Michael Roth, Executive Chairman of IPG. “When it comes to cultural and social justice issues, change is something that happens over time, and Heide has worked with me, Philippe and our leadership team to help IPG achieve incremental movement over the years. Her creativity, foresight and vocal advocacy have been instrumental in putting our company on the long journey toward change. It’s a mission that will continue, and we are excited that Heide can bring that same sense of forward movement to this important new role.”
Gardner is acknowledged to have led on a number of key issues that have helped IPG differentiate itself within its industry, including bringing the issue of representation to the main stage of Cannes Lions (in 2011), launching the company’s “Women’s Breakfast” which has become a mainstay of the Festival, and focusing that conversation on topics related to intersectionality. She was also the driving force behind the industry’s first program centered on Black women, which Interpublic successfully hosted in New York in 2017. Her team introduced programmatic approaches to DEI that have included pipeline fellowships, business resource groups, an annual internal DEI awards competition, leadership development pilots for under-represented groups and their managers, as well as events with world-class experts to disrupt thinking and precipitate change across all IPG companies. In April of this year, Interpublic was named by Forbes in the top 10 of its 2021 listing of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity.”
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Interpublic (NYSE: IPG) (www.interpublic.com) is a values-based, data-fueled, and creatively-driven provider of marketing solutions. Home to some of the world’s best-known and most innovative communications specialists, IPG global brands include: Acxiom, Craft, FCB, FutureBrand, Golin, Huge, Initiative, Jack Morton, Kinesso, MAGNA, Matterkind, McCann, Mediahub, Momentum, MRM, MullenLowe Group, Octagon, R/GA, UM, Weber Shandwick and more. IPG is an S&P 500 company with net revenue of $8.06 billion in 2020.
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