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Facebook’s new Vice President and Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa is a mother of four who is insisting on working a four-day week.
Nicola Mendelsohn, currently the executive chairman of advertising agency Karmarama, will start work at Facebook in July. She has been at Karmarama, whose clients include B & Q and Costa, for five years and served as the first female president of trade group the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising for the past two years. She also co-chairs the Creative Industries Council, which advises the Government.
Carolyn Everson, vice-president of global marketing solutions at Facebook, said that Mendelsohn “brings outstanding leadership and passion for what Facebook can do to become an indispensable partner for our clients and agencies throughout the region. It’s testament to Facebook’s innovative role in business and advertising that we’re able to welcome a leader with such great experience”.
Mendelsohn said: “My time at Karmarama has been unforgettable, and it will always have a special place in my heart. The agency is truly unique, with a magical culture and some of the best talent in the industry. I’m proud to have been part of its story so far, and I know that the team at Karmarama will continue to take the agency to even greater heights. Facebook’s innovation in the way brands are putting people at the centre of the conversation is fascinating. I am very excited to be joining the team, and I look forward to bringing my experience to Facebook.”
Her appointment has been welcomed by those campaigning for increased female representation on company boards.
Lyndsey Oliver, co-founder of gender balance consultancy Female Quotient, said: “It’s great to see a forward-thinking company put their money where their mouth is. Nicola Mendelsohn, however, is just one example of a highly talented woman with great leadership skills and industry experience who wants to combine career and family life. There are countless others like her. Businesses have to face the facts: By 2015, 75% of graduates will be female, 80% or more will want to become mothers and 68% of those will want to return to work. No business can afford to turn their back on talented employees, men or women. It doesn’t make economic sense. This senior appointment demonstratesthat flexible working can and does work for business.”