Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA has launched L’avenir, a tailored leadership and creative development program for high-potential female creatives across 60+ agencies in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
Developed and led by Natalie Lam, chief creative officer at Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA, the program aims to change the gender ratio among creative leaders across the region.
Says Lam: “Globally at Publicis Groupe, more than 50% of our workforce is female and 41% of key leaders are women: we’ve made huge strides when it comes to gender representation overall. Yet industry- wide, the percentage of female Creative Directors remains comparatively low. To lead the change, we’re launching L’avenir, a tailored creative mentorship program that will nurture high-potential female creatives in two ways: career development, and creativity development.”
Every year, high-potential mid- and senior-level creatives from Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA will be selected for the L’avenir program, equipping them with the skills they need to shine as creative leaders.
Says Lam: “We’ll identify our top female creatives, because true diversity makes the work better. L’avenir is a tailored program that pairs mentees and mentors according to specific skills and potential, backing up their positions as future leaders with a strong portfolio of work.”
Over the past two months, Lam has hand-picked the first cohort of 15 female creatives, who will be paired with 30+ mentors, exposing them to global opportunities and client briefs.
Mentors include Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA’s Natalie Lam, chief creative officer; Ed Booty, chief strategy officer; Anthony Wong, chief client officer; Laurent Thevenet, head of creative technology; and Jason Williams, head of creativity. They’ll be joined by Kelly Pon (CCO, BBH China), Sally Anderson (group CD, MetaDesign China), Ajay Thrivikraman (CCO, Publicis Groupe, Southeast Asia), Pauly Grant (chief people officer, Publicis Groupe ANZ), Emma Montgomery (CEO, Leo Burnett Australia), Margaret Key (CEO, MSL APAC & MEA), Anupriya Acharya, (CEO, Publicis Groupe South Asia), Racha Makarem (CEO, Starcom MENA), Tahaab Rais (CSO, Publicis Groupe, Middle East & Turkey) and many more.
Says Anna Tomasetti, creative community manager at Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA: “L’avenir means ‘the future’, and it is a program where our future creative leaders can reach their full potential through targeted skills development and mentorship. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime career development opportunity for our participants that will contribute directly to Publicis Groupe’s creative and leadership base for years to come.”
The L’avenir program includes monthly 1:1 mentorship meetings; career growth sessions with chief talent officers; tailored creative training sessions; and leadership masterclasses. Mentees will shadow creative leaders and learn what it takes to motivate progressive thinking, use relevant technology and digital tools, and push for better work. In the final three months of the program, participants will partner with one of Publicis Groupe’s biggest clients across the duration of a major project.
Says Loris Nold, CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Publicis Groupe: “This program is tailor- made to the needs of each participant’s skills, strengths, gaps and career goals. For our clients, this means boundary-breaking work and more progressive, modern thinking that avoids unconscious bias and stereotypes. For our culture, it means creating an inclusive environment that supports the creative development of our next generation of leaders.”
Says Jane Lin-Baden, Asia Pacific CEO at Publicis Groupe: “By giving L’avenir participants access to our most creative minds globally, we want all creatives to know that their career development at Publicis Groupe will be recognised and supported.”
The L’avenir program is open to high-potential female creatives at Publicis Groupe’s Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa agencies. Selection is based on the strength of their creative portfolio, growth mindset and passion for creativity.
The inaugural year-long L’avenir program kicked off in October 2022.
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