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Mary bishop jokes that as exec VP-worldwide account director on Procter & Gamble Co. at Chicago-based Leo Burnett Co., she sees "conference rooms all over the world."

She'll now also get to see more domestic conference rooms, too, as she assumes the role of managing director of one of Burnett's new mini-agencies, the healthcare shop still dubbed Agency A.

One of three female executives on Burnett's board (the other two are Chief Creative Officer Cheryl Berman and Group President North America Linda Wolf), Ms. Bishop, 45, earned her stripes on P&G, an account she has been intimately involved with for 20 years.

"We handle 20 categories worldwide, ranging from diapers to to throat care. Typically on an account you deal with two key clients. With Procter, I deal with 60 to 70 worldwide," she says.

Under Ms. Bishop, the agency also has steadily built its P&G business, particularly over the past year when it gained Max Factor in the U.S., agency of record status on the company's $250 million print-buying assignment, the global Tambrands business and responsibility for new Dryel, a fabric care system designed to compete with dry cleaning.

Working on P&G, she believes, has given her the ability to rise within the agency. The company is noted for supporting high-level females on its business.


In her early days at Burnett, by contrast, there were few women at high levels. Ms. Bishop says she recalls meetings where she was the only woman in the room and the days when only men worked on certain accounts, like beer. "I was of the martyr generation," she says.

Today the business has "tons and tons of women, in fact in hiring sometimes I wish the male pool was larger-they tend to go into consulting and investment banking," she says.

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