Article : Bombay Times. Times of India 10/1/2004  
    Weaker sex? You've got to be kidding!
 
   
Not when 14 women are in charge of this ad agency

Women on top? It certainly seems so at Ogilvy & Mather (O&M). And the shift, they say, has not happened overnight. "I have never seen any conscious effort to promote women," says Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and National Creative Director, O&M. "Ever since I joined in 1982, I've seen that whoever performs is given the post and I'm glad there are so many women doing well at O & M." For the record, the company has 14 women heading different
divisions.

Preeta Singh, Country Manager, Ogilvyone Worldwide, who has been in the company for as long as Piyush, endorses his views when she says, "It's not that women are in a high position just today. We were the first ad agency to have a lady director (Roda Mehta)." Nishi Suri, Executive Director, Ogilvy Mumbai and Head of Advertising Office, Mumbai, who has been with the organisation for over six years also, says that this was not a planned move.
"I believe that women understand business better than men. It's something that has happened very naturally in the last three to four years. Out of the eight members in my team heading different portfolios, six of them are women. The worldwide chairman of Ogilvy and Mather is also a woman — Shelly Lazarus," she says.

So how have the men reacted to this situation? "I think it's a happy co-existence. It's ironical that all our creative heads are men and our business directors are women," says Nishi. Adds Preeta, "It's part of the Ogilvy culture to have strong women along with the strong boys."

Says Piyush, "The women have done a fantastic job. We men salute them for the work that they are doing." And are there ever any differences of opinions? "No," says Piyush. "Women are a lot more sensitive than men and when you are in the business of people, it's that much better." And how long do they plan to be in power. "As long as we want to be," says Nishi Suri.

In command
Susan Josi: ED, Ogilvy Healthcare
Aparna Joshi: Manager, West OgilvyOne Worldwide
Rani Reddy: Branch Head, Ogilvy Live
Preeta Singh: Country Manager, Ogilvyone Worldwide
Kalpana Rao: Talent Director, India
Nishi Suri: ED, Ogilvy Mumbai, Head of Advertising Office
Lorraine Martin: Managing Partner, Ogilvy PR Worldwide
Renuka Jaypal: National Business Director
Hufrish Birdy: VP, Corporate Finance & MIS
Lakshmi Goyal: Business Director, Ogilvy Advtg
Hephzibah Pathak: Business Director, Ogilvy Advtg
Sharmila Malekar: Business Director, Ogilvy Advtg
Meenakshi Bhalla: Business Director, Ogilvy Advtg
Nita Joshi: Business Director, Ogilvy Advtg




 
 
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Copyright 2006 Martin D'Souza. All rights reserved.