Karen Blackett

President of WPP UK, Former UK CEO of GroupM & Former UK CEO of MediaCom

  • Founding Trustee of the Black Equity Organisation
  • Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth
  • Former Chief Operations Director EMEA of MediaCom
  • Former Country Manager for WPP
  • Named one of the 35 Most Powerful Women Under 35 in the UK by Management Today
  • Featured on the UK’s 100 Most Influential Black Women list five times & first businesswoman to top the Powerlist in 2015

When Karen Blackett is booked for events, they are known to discuss the following speaking topics:

Future-Proofing Your Business in the 21st Century
Talent is Everywhere, Opportunity is Not
World Class Leadership
Unlocking & Understanding the Consumer
Influence & Leadership: Creating an Exceptional Culture

Karen Blackett stands as a towering figure in the realm of advertising and business leadership, revered not only for her professional acumen but also as a vital voice in the promotion of inclusivity and diversity within the corporate world. As an award-winning advertising mogul and one of the most influential women in her industry, Karen has spent over three decades breaking down both gender and racial barriers, reshaping the landscape for future generations of businesswomen, particularly those from minority backgrounds.

Starting her illustrious career with her appointment to the Board of Directors during the merger of The Media Business Group and MediaCom in 1999, Karen has consistently held leadership roles that underscore her expertise and commitment to excellence. Her tenure as CEO of MediaCom UK is particularly notable, during which she secured major accounts such as Tesco and led the agency to win the “Agency of the Year” award twice. Her innovative leadership and strategic vision were instrumental in propelling MediaCom to become the UK’s largest media agency, managing prestigious clients like Audi, Coca-Cola and GSK. Her initiative to launch an apprenticeship scheme at MediaCom for women aged 18 to 24 with Tim Campbell and The National Apprentice Service further illustrated her commitment to opening doors for the next generation of female leaders.

Beyond her corporate achievements, Karen has served as a beacon of inspiration and change in societal roles and responsibilities. Her appointment as a DIT Business Ambassador and the Race Equality Business Champion by the UK Government highlights her significant contributions to fostering diversity within the British civil service and the broader business community. Furthermore, her roles with The MOBO Trust, Creative England and The Creative Industry Federation reflect her dedication to nurturing creative talents and advocating for racial equality in all sectors. Karen’s remarkable contributions have been recognised with several honours, including being appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2014 for her services to media and communications. She has consistently featured on the UK’s 100 Most Influential Black Women list, honoured on the list on five occasions, and became the first businesswoman to top the Powerlist in 2015. Her dedication to enhancing the representation of black women in business is not just noteworthy but a transformative force in the industry.

As a keynote speaker, Karen leverages her vast experience and personal journey to inspire and educate her audience. Her speeches are not only narratives of her achievements but are imbued with actionable insights on how to integrate inclusivity into professional and personal realms. Karen’s engagements, ranging from “Black Women Mean Business” seminars to addresses at the House of Commons and her empowering TEDx Talk “It’s OK To Be You have made her a sought-after speaker globally. For companies and individuals alike, Karen Blackett’s keynote talks offer more than inspiration; they serve as a catalyst for organisational change and personal growth. Through her lived experiences and strategic insights, Karen guides and motivates aspiring businesswomen and champions the cause of diversity, making her an invaluable asset to any event or corporate strategy aimed at genuine transformation.

Official Testimonials

Karen Blackett is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:

“Karen is an impressive force to be reckoned with. She’s strategically sound, insightful, talented and an absolute joy to work with”

To enquire about Karen Blackett for your event or corporate function, simply contact us via agent@bame-speakers.com or call a booking agent on 0207 1010 553.