In an attempt to encourage women to continue and reach top positions inside corporate India and also to create an environment where they can grow and flourish, Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) has established the DAN Women’s Council. This is for the first time that a council of such stature has been envisaged and crafted by any marketing communications agency in India.
Chaired by Rajni Menon, Executive Vice President, Carat India, the advisory committee will have Nipun Kapur, COO, WATConsult, Divya Karani, CEO, Dentsu Media, Sunita Prakash, Senior Vice President, Dentsu Marcom, Neha Mayekar, Vice President, Finance, Dentsu Aegis Network, Dimple Maheshwari, Director – HR, Dentsu Media, Harsha Joshi, Executive Vice President – Group Trading, Dentsu Aegis Network, Komal Verma, Associate Vice President-Human Resources & Administration at Fountainhead-MKTG and Simi Sabhaney, CEO, Dentsu Communications as its key members.
While the number of women working in the industry is steadily increasing within the junior and mid-levels, the workforce at senior positions witness a significant decline when compared to their counterparts in other Asian countries. This is because a compelling number of woman choose to move out post marriage/child birth due to various circumstantial pressures. If they do choose to join back the workforce post their maternity gap, they tend to lose their seniority. Of course, reasons such as harassment at workplace, the feeling of getting lower compensation than their male counterparts and lack of flexibility at workplace, which could allow them to manage work and home, also add to the pressure.
“Though at an overall level the DAN numbers are significantly healthier than the industry average, we felt it was time to take a proactive step as leaders of the marketing communications industry to ensure that in a growing network, the environment and policies are conducive to grow the women numbers at all levels,” says Rajni Menon.
The DAN Women’s Council will primarily focus on helping women reach their highest potential based on merit, facilitate a path for more women occupying leadership positions in the organization, provide an avenue for a structured mentoring process and create an environment which is safe and equal.
“Our women leaders and managers will continue to play a very crucial role in taking us forward as we move ahead to become the No. 2 marketing communications agency group in India by the end of 2017. Today, we are already the leading network when it comes to creating a balanced and uniform work-environment for our women workforce in India. Now, our ambition is to surpass global standards and make DAN the gold standard for encouraging the women talent force. I believe our women managers are second to none,” said Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO South Asia – Dentsu Aegis Network and Chairman Posterscope & MKTG – Asia Pacific.
With time, Dentsu Aegis Network plans to expand the council to include more women leaders in the future. The council will also work on getting the male perspective through representation within the council. It will conduct gender sensitization workshops and create options for delivering additional flexibility.