Cecilie Westh

Managing Director Nordics , Nielsen

Sponsor Spotlight with Nielsen, LEAD Network Foundation Partner

Can you tell us a bit about your organization and your role?

Nielsen is a global measurement and data analytics company that has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries.

We provide the most complete view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge.

As Managing Director of the Nordics, I cover Denmark, Finland, Norway & Sweden and have four focus areas. The first is, together with our local teams ensure we understand our client and retailers needs. That means I have many meetings at the C-suite level where we discuss the clients’ strategies and how we can support them the best way. I’m also responsible, together with our Nordic leadership team, for setting up the local strategy and priorities for Nielsen in the Nordics. The third priority is around development of our leaders and employees, ensuring all have clear goals and feels they have good development opportunities and are motivated. And finally, I need to ensure we hit our financial targets. Together, these four priorities keep me very busy 🙂


Why is diversity, and specifically the advancement of women, so important to your organization?

For Nielsen, diversity is not just a goal but a global business imperative. We recently ranked 16th on the DiversityInc top 50 list for 2019 — and we are very proud of it. We believe diversity is about each of us embracing the talents and ideas of people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives to drive our continued success in providing clients with the information they need to succeed.

What diversity initiatives do you have in your organisation?

Nielsen has focused on diversity for a long time, and some of the initiatives we have are:

  • Global Diverse Slates for Recruiting: Nielsen introduced diverse recruiting slates in the U.S. in 2016 and we will continue to roll out the programme globally. We try to ensure a minimum of one female on the candidate list.
  • Diversity Measurements: We track gender diversity metrics quarterly. We engage with Business Leaders on results and action plans, particularly regarding bands 1-5.
  • Talent Identification: During talent reviews, we create a Female Top Talent pool to increase visibility and development, and we make sure that HR and the hiring managers use these lists.
  • Talent Development: Increase the number of women mentors/mentees in our mentoring programme.
  • Parental leave: We have a checklist for associates and managers to guide them through the parental leave process, both before and after the leave. We will continue to improve policies by country.
  • Global Employee resource groups: “WIN” (Women in Nielsen) is an internal group that organises local events, develop guidelines, and training programmes to enhance skills.

What role does the LEAD Network play in reaching your organization’s diversity goals?

Nielsen joined LEAD Network at the end of 2017. The organization plays a huge role helping us reach our diversity goals. Our CEO, David Kenny, signed the LEAD CEO Pledge during International Women’s Day, committing to advancing the careers of women at Nielsen around the world. This is a huge step forward for us, and it means a lot when we see our CEO is “leading in front”.

I hope our employees take the best practices from other companies in the LEAD Network and use them in our organization. I also hope we take advantage from the many webinars and local Chapter events where we can be inspired, learn new skills, and make new connections with other members of the network. I know I have personally learned a lot during the many events and made many new connections 🙂