Karen Blackett named among Marie Claire's top ten inspirational women

Karen Blackett, the chief executive of MediaCom, has been named as one of Marie Claire's ten most inspirational women at its Women At The Top Awards.

MediaCom's Karen Blackett: 'We've now got a happier, more productive workforce'
MediaCom's Karen Blackett: 'We've now got a happier, more productive workforce'

The annual awards, hosted by the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Trish Halpin, honours ten female "game-changers who have shaped 2015", from business to the arts.

Blackett was included on the list after topping the Powerful Media ‘Power List’ as ‘the most influential black person in Britain’, as well as being in charge of a budget of more than £1.2 billion and helping launch the first government-backed appreticeship scheme for the creative industry.

She said: "I create a culture where you’re allowed to bring yourself to work. I want to recognise if some of our female talent is struggling with blending their work and home lives. We have many family-based initiatives [new mothers receive one week’s salary as a "baby bonus", and their wage is raised ten per cent in the first year after they return to help with childcare].

"I regularly ask the team to tell me what they’d do if they were CEO for the day. Then we implement the best ideas. One of the winning ideas was introducing life coaching for everybody at the agency; we’ve now got a happier, more productive workforce and a better, profitable business."

The ten winners:

  • Bridget Christie; award-winning comedian;
  • Destiny Ekaragha, filmmaker and only the third black female director to have released a feature-length film in the UK;
  • Pip Black and Joan Murphy, founders of Frame gym;
  • Dr Safia Jabeen, founder of the Chadni sexual health clinic for Muslim women; 
  • Paula Hawkins, writer of the bestselling novel, The Girl on the Train;
  • Kim Woodward, the first female head chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill restaurant;
  • Major Natalie Taylor, a regimental medial officer for the British Army;
  • Emily Rawson, a DJ and founder of the all-female DJ collective, Rock the Belles;
  • Karen Blackett OBE, the chief executive of MediaCom;
  • and Josephine Goube, the director of strategic partnerships at Migreat, an online platform helping individuals with immigration.


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