WPP’s Stella initiative aims to give career boost to women in India: Apoorva Bapna
Bapna, Chief Culture Officer, WPP India, explains how the initiative has helped create safe spaces for female employees of the organisation to share their challenges and aspirations
WPP’s Stella initiative has given a career boost to three hundred women in India since it was launched in 2018, said Apoorva Bapna, Chief Culture Officer, WPP India.
The initiative was launched in the UK in 2015 and in India three years later.
“We were a small group at the time of our launch in 2018 but when the pandemic hit, we realised that the scope of the program needed to be expanded. From a small group in 2018, we scaled it up, rearticulated it and relaunched in 2020,” Bapna told exchange4media.
WPP Stella exists in the UK, Italy, France, North America, Mexico, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan, MENA, and India.
“We address those with programming that raises visibility & voice through support, networking events and learning opportunities, training and development, and mentorship. While our purpose and objectives are consistent globally, membership and programming are bespoken to each country. India is now the largest Stella Chapter in WPP globally, with a community of 300 plus mentors and mentees.” Bapna said.
Talking about the future of Stella, Bapna said that the aim is to build safe spaces for the organisation’s women colleagues to share their challenges, aspirations and learn through lived experiences of the senior women leaders in the network.
“Gender representation continues to be an area that needs continuous focus and intervention. Programs like these will help improve representation and build a successful, inclusive, diverse organisation,” she said.
Explaining how it works, she said that every mentee gets mentored by a senior woman leader of WPP over a period of 12 months. Quarterly chats are conducted with an inspiring leader to help women think through their career choices, aspirations, and challenges.
Some of the prominent external speakers in the past have been Diageo CMO Deepika Warrier and Microsoft’s former CMO Hitu Chawla.
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