Karen Blackett has been in media for 22 years and is currently Country Manager of WPP, the largest UK media agency with billings over £1 billion. Prior to this, Karen was CEO for 5 years where she was instrumental in MediaCom’s success and in championing diversity across their industry.
In 2012, Karen launched the first ever Government backed Apprentice Scheme for the sector, where the apprentices qualify for an NVQ in Marketing and Communications. In June 2014, she received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours. Karen has won the Women in Marketing (WIM) Outstanding Contribution to Marketing Award, featured 5 times in the Power List of Britain’s 100 Most Influential Black People (heading the list in 2015, the first business woman to do so), and has appeared in the Woman’s Hour Power List of Top 10 Influencers, and Marie Claire’s Women At The Top Awards.
Most recently, Karen has been appointed as one of four external advisors to help diversify the Civil Service, and as a UKTI Business Ambassador for No 10. In March 2016, Karen became the President of NABS, the advertising industry charity which focuses on health and wellbeing in the workplace and presenting the business case for Diversity.