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WPP launches senior female leadership programme in South Africa

WPP held its first WPP Stella event in South Africa, as part of the company's commitment to developing its female leaders
Robyn de Villiers, chairman and CEO of BCW Africa and the champion of WPP Stella locally.
WPP Stella, an international leadership and networking group for female senior leaders across the global WPP network, aims to help women achieve their maximum potential.

Integrated senior leadership team


Robyn de Villiers, chairman and CEO of BCW Africa and the champion of WPP Stella locally, says, “The first WPP Stella group was established in the UK in 2015, following the need for a networking programme aimed at empowering WPP’s future female leaders.

Since then, WPP Stella groups have been established in Italy, Taiwan, India and Mexico, making South Africa the sixth country to launch this initiative. This is very exciting for us, especially as WPP operates in 112 countries globally.
One of the key differentiators of WPP Stella is its focus on empowering our female senior executives and enhancing their potential. While WPP Stella focuses on women, our male senior leaders also have a role to play in this initiative as champions of female talent. Our aim is to foster a more integrated senior leadership team.

Educate and Empower


This year the South African arm of WPP Stella, which is part of the WPP’s SA Leadership Council’s wider gender equality work, will be centred around the theme of ‘Educate and Empower’ through an inspiring series of events. These will be focused on networking, knowledge sharing and creating partnerships in order to better support female senior WPP executives in their career journeys.

Frances Illingworth, chair and founder of WPP Stella in the UK and WPP’s global recruitment director, is excited about the establishment of a WPP Stella group on the African continent:
Our ambition is to inspire and enable all WPP women to maximise their potential and become more successful business leaders. I am delighted that our women in South Africa will become part of this thriving and inclusive community.
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