Crain’s 2019 Notable Women Executives.

Crain’s Chicago Business – April 29, 2019

“Notable executive women over 50? Why don’t you feature notable men?” It’s a fair question, but let’s face it: Women reaching the highest levels of business remains a work in progress. A generation ago, women in the C-suite were a novelty and, before that, they were few and far between.

Despite progress, women are still scarce among senior leaders, according to a 2018 report by nonprofit group Catalyst. Only 4.8 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and women account for less than a quarter of senior roles globally.

But a look through our list reveals women thriving as CEOs and other members of the C-suite, entrepreneurs and top managers in law, accounting, consulting, real estate and nonprofits. That should provide encouragement and inspiration for the next generation of women moving up.

Karen Seamen – President and chief operating officer, Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago

Karen Seamen joined ad agency Cramer-Krasselt in 1988. She rose to chief operating officer in 2010 and added the president title three years later. In the process, Seamen transformed the agency with robust digital and social media practices that account for 61 percent of revenue. She was instrumental in launching a proprietary data analytics group of nearly 100 employees. Her “no silos” approach enabled the agency to develop ideas that work across platforms. Seamen also has spearheaded Cramer-Krasselt’s diversity efforts, with women representing 70 percent of senior management. Minority representation at the agency has tripled. She serves on boards at the 4A’s and ICOM, the largest international independent agency network, and has twice chaired fundraisers for Off the Street Club.

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