After sexist tirade, Saatchi chairman forced to take leave of absence

…the fucking debate is all over. This is a diverse world, we are in a world where we need, like we’ve never needed before, integration, collaboration, connectivity, and creativity … this will be reflected in the way the (Publicis) Groupe is.

This is what Kevin Roberts, Chairman of Saatchi and Saatchi, the advertising and media firm owned by Publicis told Business Insider last Friday. He dismissed the fact that there are major gender inequities throughout Publicis, including the fact that the six major companies it owns are run by male CEOs.

He also disparaged Cindy Gallop, who has openly discussed how sexist she believes the advertising industry is, saying:

I think she’s got problems that are of her own making. I think she’s making up a lot of the stuff to create a profile, and to take applause, and to get on a soap[box].

Perhaps the most offensive part of the tirade was when Roberts said that women are not rising to the top of the advertising world because they don’t have the same “vertical ambition” as men, but rather have “circular ambition.”

Rather than holding ambitions to progress into the higher echelons of the c-suite, many women — and men — simply want to be happy and do great work, which management can often overlook… So we are trying to impose our antiquated shit on (women), and they are going: ‘Actually guys, you’re missing the point, you don’t understand: I’m way happier than you.’ Their ambition is not a vertical ambition, it’s this intrinsic, circular ambition to be happy. So they say: ‘We are not judging ourselves by those standards that you idiotic dinosaur-like men judge yourself by…I’m just not worried about it because they are very happy, they’re very successful, and doing great work. I can’t talk about sexual discrimination because we’ve never had that problem, thank goodness.

Until now, I guess. He’s been placed on a leave of absence. ES