Saatchi & Saatchi sexism row: Were comments inflammatory or just debate?

Saatchi and Saatchi sexism row: were comments inflammatory or just debate? Experts disagree over whether the advertising agency were right to suspend chairman Kevin Roberts over comments made about women in leadership roles in the industry…

Kevin Roberts has been placed on leave after saying gender debate is "all over"

Monday, August 1, 2016

There were mixed opinions on talkRADIO on Monday as guests discussed the suspension from duty of Saatchi and Saatchi boss Kevin Roberts. 

The advertising agency chairman has been placed on leave after saying the debate on gender equality is "all over" and that he did not think a lack of women in leadership roles "is a problem".

The company’s parent group, Publicis, said they would not tolerate anyone who does not value inclusion.

Allyson Stewart-Allen, chief executive at International Marketing Partners, told Julia Hartley-Brewer that "companies need to wake up to the fact that marginalising talent in whatever package it comes costs you money.

"Those comments are inflammatory. If you're going to make those comments you should have a 50 per cent women board."

But Joanna Williams, from online magazine Spiked, told listeners that it is fair to debate feminism.

"I think there's an awful lot of truth in what he said. But even if there wasn't, I think it's really bad we have this climate where some topics are put beyond debate.

"Women are seen as one group, who are all either victims in the workplace or should all want to be going out and getting the top jobs."

Listen to the full interview and let us know what YOU think