IPG appoints Heide Gardner to the newly-created position of Global Culture Officer
Gardner will move into the Global Culture Officer role on August 1st
Interpublic Group 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.
She 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.
“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 centred 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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