LONDON — Omnicom’s UK senior management teams and boards are now made up of an average of 48% women, the group announced on International Women’s Day.

The close-to-balanced leadership team is well above the current marketing and advertising industry average of 30.2%, and already ahead of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s target of 40% by 2020.

Omnicom launched its Omniwomen initiative in 2015 to increase the influence and number of women leaders across the network. Since then, it says female representation in senior management across Omnicom companies has increased by 20%, up from 40% representation three years ago. Around 50% of the 85,000 Omnicom employees around the world are women.

The release of the figures was timed to coincide with the fourth annual Omniwomen UK leadership summit in London, whose theme this year was “Take It On”. The summit aims to inspire female leaders across the group’s businesses – including FleishmanHillard Fishburn, Ketchum and Porter Novelli – to be positive role models and create lasting change.

Porter Novelli London MD Fenella Grey, who was at the summit and was a founder Omniwomen committee member, described the initiative as “one of the great glues to connect people around Omnicom."

Grey told the Holmes Report: “We’re delighted that we continue to be ahead of the industry. It’s been a turbulent year for women and we continue to offer support, freedom and flexibility. From my perspective, it’s up to us as leaders to take it on and shape it, to make progress, make a difference, set the tone and do what’s right for our teams. If you don’t have the right culture, it doesn’t drive great quality work and doesn’t drive business results. It’s a tough line to take in uncertain times but taking a culture-first approach has given us four years of consecutive year-on-year growth.”

Omniwomen Global founder Janet Riccio added: “Since we launched Omniwomen, we’ve made significant progress in increasing the number of women in leadership roles. However, we still have a long way to go to fully unlock the potential of gender diversity in the workforce. I am incredibly proud of the work being done by the members of Omniwomen UK, who are inspiring women globally to press forward and progress gender parity by challenging the status quo at this powerful moment in time.”