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Hill + Knowlton Strategies - Female Entrepreneur or Executive of the Year in Mexico, Central & South America

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Company: Hill + Knowlton Strategies, Miami, FL
Company Description: The communications landscape has changed. Change creates new challenges and opportunities, and thus we help brands and the public communicate. We are structured around three services: Consulting, Creating, and Connecting. Our cutting-edge proprietary products ensure that we have our fingers on the pulse of public sentiment, both locally and around the globe.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Entrepreneur or Executive of the Year in Mexico, Central & South America

Nomination Title: Claudia Gioia, CEO and President, Hill+ Knowlton Strategies Latin America & Caribbean

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur or executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

Highly-respected and admired, described as a “dynamic, trusting, engaging and inclusive leader,” Claudia Gioia is currently the only female CEO running the business on behalf of a global communications company in the Latin America region. As such, she has been outspoken about changing the conversation while paving the way for other women to succeed.

From a thought leadership perspective, her strong track record as a communications veteran and multi-award-winning professional, has given her the platform to tell the female leadership story, based on her philosophy, values and business-driven mindset: men and women complement each other, and there is nothing better for an organization than a balanced team enriched with diverse thoughts, talents and backgrounds. Demonstrating her words with actions, her latest piece on gender equality in the workplace, featured in top-tier media outlets in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Guatemala, reflects the reality of the company throughout the region.

In August 2017, committed to empowering her leadership team to reach its full potential and further strengthen relationships with clients, Claudia appointed the first female manager to spearhead operations in Argentina. Not the typical, “politically-correct” office head that most have come to expect, the new leadership addition was a strategic move for the company in Latin America, as it drove the highest business growth from a local market perspective, in comparison to the previous year (+15%). Following Claudia’s leadership and vision, the agency expanded its portfolio of clients, adding five retainer accounts, including multinational brands.

Continuing her path to empowering women in the organization and employees across the region, Claudia spearheaded the company’s evolution to a flexible model, implementing competitive maternity leave policies in Mexico as of September 2017, as well as home-office alternatives for parents on a case-by-case basis. Focusing on the employees’ wellbeing as a key to the company’s success, Claudia has created a culture based on trust and empowerment, betting on people’s talents, hard work and innovative ideas.

With the mindset of retaining top talent and developing employees’ careers even further, Claudia hired a Head of Talent & Marketing in March 2018 to foster the creation of inter-office training and development programs (launching the first program in July 2018), establish internal communications processes across the organization and become an advocate for employees.

From a client service standpoint, Claudia’s leadership has strengthened the agency’s relationships with top multinational and local clients across the region. Her face-to-face approach and extensive in-market knowledge, continues to position her as a trusted advisor for her clients and a reliable leader for her agency team.

Most recently, aside from completing a strategic integration process that began in 2015 following the acquisition of Brazilian firm Ideal, Claudia continued to leverage her local agencies’ strengths to improve their business offerings by partnering with creative and digital businesses, while seeking integrated communications solutions for her clients, helping them navigate the current omni-channel communications ecosystem.

Claudia’s multidisciplinary experience, her knowledge of the Latin American market, and most importantly, her strong, respected and empathetic leadership and work ethic, make her a one-of-a-kind executive that will continue to impact the communications field and the professionals that have the honor of working with and for her.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur or executive (up to 125 words):

In 2015, Claudia joined Hill+Knowlton Strategies as CEO and President overseeing Latin America and the Caribbean. Previously she held positions as country manager, Technology LatAm Practice Chair, Regional Client Leader and US Hispanic Practice Head, leading key corporate accounts such as Ford Motors, Intel, Sony, Accenture, Goodyear, IBM, HBO, Walmart, FedEx, among others during her 19-year tenure at Burson-Marsteller.

Gioia brings the experience of a multidisciplinary career across advertising, B2B and B2C communications, corporate reputation, media relations, issues management, branding and digital media. She founded Estrategia SA, an integrated communications agency and Im-Pulsar SRL Editorial Group in conjunction with the National Institute of Industrial Technology. Her career started at a young age in advertising at J. W. Thompson, Propuesta Publicitaria and Schusseheim-Menendez Advertising.