Karen Blackett, who is currently Chief Executive at MediaCom, has made her mark in the advertising field, and is an entrepreneur to reckon with. MediaCom, the largest media agency in the UK has dealt with some of the biggest names such as BT, Cable & Wireless as well as Tag Heuer, and manages £610bn as advertising revenue in a year.
She studied geography and statistics at Henley College, in London, and developed an interest in consumer research, which led her to media. She pursued a career that her parents did not term as prestigious but she has become very successful, and has been in the advertising field since 1993.
Karen is passionate about equality and diversity, and is disturbed by the male domination in senior positions, and the few employees from minor ethnic communities, in the industry. She calls for a breakdown of traditional attitudes where certain professions are ‘reserved’ for the more “elite” communities and equality in choice of employees. In a recent article she wrote published in the Telegraph, she tells us that as one of the few black women in senior media role, she has a burning passion to ensure the industry embraces diversity of all types. She mentions that aside from the fact that it is clearly morally correct, she firmly believes it is essential to the continued success of advertising and media agencies.
She has been recognized as the 7th most influential person at the nation level, in the Black Power List. She stood out in her passion for nurturing talent among the youth. She started a scheme for apprenticeship aimed at helping young talented non-graduates, to find their way to the media and advertising industry, which is a perfect way to give back to the community. She provides a role model to young people especially females, as they can see it is possible to achieve in male dominated fields.