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Women of Tomorrow Awards 2018 Shortlist

Thirty-three names, from nearly two hundred nominations, have been shortlisted for the IPA and Campaign Women of Tomorrow Awards.

The competition champions women in middle management identified as the female industry leaders of the future and the nominees come from a cross section of disciplines including HR, new business, creative, client services and tech and innovation.

Join the conversation on Twitter using #WOT18

The winners, chosen by a panel of leading figures from across the industry, will be announced on 8th March 2018.

 Shortlisted entrants

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What an incredible year and a half. My company has gone from strength to strength. I’ve surpassed my goal of completing four major projects and I’m in a position where the volume of work is growing at an amazing rate.

Last year was topped off with our dawn Diversity event, at which we discussed taking control of our unconscious biases surrounding gender, sexual preference, ethnicity and ageism – issues close to my heart. Having co-founded a network dedicated to inspiring women, and building community, it was a real achievement to celebrate 8 years.

I’m excited about 2018 and beyond - determined to build my business and hire staff to help manage assignments. And, as the dawn Event leader, I have big plans – gaining PR and expanding beyond London.

Through perseverance, I have obtained an extensive set of skills that enable me to provide a breadth of consultative advice. Projects include transforming client’s digital strategies, restructuring and leading teams, creating new products and increasing revenues. The recognition I’ve received – “A fantastic advisor and mentor” (Ian Richardson); “I would have no hesitation recommending her to any business looking for digital commercial and strategic guidance” (Robert Ffitch); “She inspired me and I felt I learnt from her every day” (Jess Markwood) - has been a testament to my hard work and although I won’t be swayed, I was asked to permanently join the company I’ve recently been consulting for.

After a successful career in media agencies and becoming a 30 under 30 winner, a Marketing week rising star, a Starcom Academy and Facebook Fast Forward graduate, I wanted to broaden my knowledge and moved Publisher side. It was here that I experienced a gruelling time, but by confiding in those closest to me, I realised my potential to get myself through this. I’m now starting to work with companies to spot similar situations to prevent bullying in the workplace.

I strive to effect change and for each project I lead, I embed myself within organisations to understand culture and challenges. I take the initiative to stand out by attending industry events, getting stuck in on training courses, investing time in my network and mentoring three women to encourage them to stand out too.

My passion has always been to help others both professionally and personally and throughout my career, I’ve developed a reputation for managing conflict to create positive situations. Having led large teams, I feel such pride seeing team members achieve their goals and I’ve built relationships that will last due to mutual respect.

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“Software engineering isn’t for girls.”

The first of my family to go to university, I was one of two women studying the subject at Sheffield and the only female in a team of coders at the MOD. Being told it wasn’t for girls was the determining factor in deciding to do it.

My other love, the law, wasn’t open–I hadn’t chosen the right A-Levels. So, I studied as a post-grad, alongside my job at Ogilvy & Mather, qualifying as a barrister five years later.

I believe passionately in the power of personal growth and unlocking potential. This drives me to make our agency and people shine in this crazy, exciting industry and I’m dedicated to leading work that grows team pride, collaboration and recognition for everyone. I love that my role allows me to do all this.

I believe this is what makes me a woman of tomorrow:


Hired as PA at Ogilvy & Mather, I started on a steep, new learning curve. Seven character-defining years later, I left as New Business Director for Ogilvy Group UK across direct, PR, design, media, healthcare, advertising. I was part of a brilliant team changing a legacy mind-set and culture in the face of new entrepreneurial agencies, transforming reputation and culture through great wins including Philips, Expedia and Kronenbourg. I hired people better than me. I learnt the value of failure and unwavering resilience. I worked hard to earn my stripes.


Seeing the need for agencies to make a step-change in a new digital age, I joined consultancy JFDI, nudging teams to regain their new business mojo with new attitudes and new capabilities. I trained 50+ industry professionals in modern new business skills, helped G2 win Costa Coffee, redefined Zenith’s marketing strategy and won Royal Caribbean International with Lexis.

Today, I lead a crack-team of our next-generation leaders empowered to drive culture at Geometry and I’m a mentor, both internally and with the IPA’s New Business Group.


In 2014 Geometry invited me on board with a task to build UK reputation and growth, fast. As WPP’s biggest ever merger we were the industry’s largest start-up, but with zero UK presence and no reason to step inside. In year one we had 1 pitch – since then we’ve won over 30 new clients, and I now sit on the EXCO.I’ve had to find new ways to market our brand as an agency for a new world. With a gifted team, I’ve helped flex the agency offer to deliver against briefs such as store-of-the-future, direct-to-consumer, eCommerce acceleration and more. Clients now come to us for innovative answers to new challenges.

Believing in the power of conversation, I’ve developed and launched Captivate, our thought leadership platform and written for The Drum.

This year I’m leading a pro-bono account for an ovarian cancer charity – something very close to a colleague’s heart and an incredible privilege.

My side-hustle? An online business to get experience running a company. It’s called Petit Hermite and scheduled to launch in March. I’m terrified!

Annette King, former CEO, Ogilvy UK: “An innovative leader with agility, optimism and charm. Gemma’s a natural woman of tomorrow!

Stephen Woodford, Advertising Association CEO: “Gemma brought new perspective, led us to evolve and win in a complex landscape.”

Michelle Whelan, CEO, Geometry UK: “A sharp strategic thinker with great capacity to lead people forward, Gemma is the beating heart of our agency"

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I’m Caroline Benson, Co-Founder of Cuttsy + Cuttsy. We are a communications agency specialising in healthcare. People, and making meaningful connections between them, is at the very heart of what we do.

It was working as a care assistant whilst at university and then studying a PhD in prostate cancer that created my passion for health related communications. I began to realise that there was something missing; the facilitation of real, honest conversations between people, which could lead to meaningful change. I knew that I wanted to make a difference in an industry that was becoming increasingly driven by efficiencies and lessening real personal interactions.

I founded the agency during the recession in 2011, with a three-year-old daughter, mortgage, and no financing. We took any opportunities that were offered, branded a hair salon, did freebies with the hope that they would lead to paid work. Relief hit as we landed our first retainer with a major client and since then we have never looked back.

We are the only healthcare agency that uses the principles of Emotional Intelligence as the basis of how we work. We believe that by using these principles, we are more self-aware, motivated and can empathise with our audiences. This is vitally important in an age that is driven by data and technology, and for me the future is about not losing the characteristics that make us human, so that we can still engage meaningfully with each other.

The work we do is varied and interesting and what is so special is that it makes a difference to people lives: our agency team and clients but more importantly the end users – patients, carers and healthcare professionals. We could be working on a campaign to raise awareness of a life-threatening disease; interviewing patients who undergo cancer treatment to tell their story to help others. A project I am really proud of is working with a group of cancer patients to identify and create materials to make the experience from diagnosis to treatment easier for other sufferers, in a language they can understand.

Supporting the team grow and develop in their careers gives me great enjoyment and its fundamental to the success of our agency. I am proud to say that we have achieved our IPA Gold CPD accreditation in every full year of membership.

As a mother who juggles family and work, and employs lots of working parents its very important to provide a culture of flexibility and respect within the agency. For the last two years we have won The Working Mums SME Top Employer award something I am very proud of.

We have set up programs to bring mothers back to work after extensive time out of the workplace, developed working practices to enable parents to still have careers whilst bringing up their families. We have tapped into this massive talent pool of individuals alongside individuals who have come straight from school, developing them into valued employees.

So far on this journey, I have been the main business developer, FD, CSD, office manager, mentor, listener, juggler, runner, tennis player. I am a member of industry groups including PM Society Patient Engagement Group Co-Chair.

I believe in the power of meaningful connection in healthcare communications. As by doing so, we can change people's lives. The future to me is about building these connections, because ultimately people matter.

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I love what I do, I love the people, the challenges and the buzz of our industry. Because of this, I put everything I can into my role. It’s very diverse and allows me to get involved in every part of the business heading up Operations, HR and Production.

I know, from my own experiences, that without support and mentorship, our juniors cannot fulfil their potential and our mid-level staff cannot become the management we need them to be to facilitate growth and more importantly their own careers so I always make myself available.

Within Impero, I run 1-2-1's with staff that are interested in leadership skills (workshopping problems, navigating tricky areas, banishing self-doubt) and facilitate peer to peer support sessions for those new to line-managing. I encourage the women in the office to attend industry events for women, and champion people reaching outside of the organisation and gaining mentors through programs like WACL, NABS and Who’s ya Momma. My proudest moment at Impero is when my Senior Project Manager asked to learn from me because she was actively coming for my job!

I also fight to ensure gender equality and pay parity at Impero. During my time at here, our female staff numbers have grown from 30% to 66%, and four of our seven departments are led by women. Also, our growth team has four women making up the nine in total, and our wider senior team has eight women out of thirteen.

I have been fulfilling aspects of a Finance Director’s role, which whilst outside my normal purview, has allowed me to grow in areas I’ve never experienced. It has also given Impero access to key performance indicators for growth and success, that until now haven’t been recorded. In 2017 alone, the agency achieved its revenue targets and revenue growth of 35% on the previous year, running at a net profit of 22.5%.

I also spearhead our IPA Continual Professional Development Program and have earmarked 2018 as the year that Impero smashes our CPD goal for all staff, growing confident and skilful future leaders in their departments.

I champion the work-life balance at Impero, by introducing flexible work hours, solid WFH plans, and by constantly pushing our family-friendly stance. Bringing in new employee handbooks, to ensure everyone is educated on their rights and how they can access support within the agency.

I am currently working on my Masters of Management through a correspondence university course. While I am only halfway through the credits and it is a longer-term goal, it encourages me to spend my personal time reviewing my career history, my growth and my goals.

Some of my other Impero career highlights include:

· Instituting high level constitutional legal documents

· Creating Impero’s first ever Risk Registry

· Bringing in new project management software (from research to live date in 2.5 months)

I believe I am a woman of tomorrow because I am a force to be reckoned with, and I refuse to apologise for it. My next step will be into an MD role, and I will continue my own personal development to ensure I have the financial, operational and business acumen to do it, whilst also continuing to inspire others around me, especially females.

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I joined the industry as a trainee Account Manager in 1984 and have been working ever since,33 years and counting.The first half of my career included being appointed to the JWT Board at 27, still JWT's youngest ever Board appointment;pitching and winning numerous accounts; Marketing Director and heading New Business.I also became heavily involved with the IPA through a personal passion for Learning and Development and co wrote the original CPD standard ,selling that proposition along with qualifications to a sceptical Council thus establishing the CPD framework that has led to the Chartered status and professionalism the industry enjoys today.I was made a Fellow of the IPA for my contribution.

At that point in my career with three small children the plate spinning,minimal maternity leave, the requirement to pretend not to be a mother and with no prospect of part time client service roles,I was exhausted.I took a year of unpaid leave during which I continued my association with the IPA,judging CPD ,running L&D programmes for JWT and serving on the St. Catherine's Hospice committee.

I then returned to a part time role looking at new areas of business growth and acquisitions for the agency and later in an innovative job share,jointly heading Talent for the agency.I am now director of L&D across UK and Europe.I have recruited ,trained and mentored hundreds of young people in my time at JWT, many of whom have gone on to have stellar careers in the industry and beyond.I am particularly proud of a graduate recruitment programme that never waivered even in the dark days of the last two recessions and an internship programme that has always been paid,long before legislation mandated it and so given opportunities to more than 700 young people.Recent innovations include the removal of the requirement for a degree and pioneering a blind approach to entry level recruitment to accelerate diversity and give greater opportunity to all.This was featured in People Management,the leading publication for the profession, demonstrating innovation not just for our sector but across all employers.The author of 7 IPA CPD Golds and Platinum, I also judged the 2017 CIPD L&D awards in the commercial category.I am in the vanguard of utilising the new Apprentice Levy with 40 Apprenticeship pathways being taken up in the agency from January.And last week I was at a secondary school in Dagenham exciting 15-17 year olds about the many prospects open to them in our industry, promoting Creative Pioneers apprenticeships.

There is so much more to do.And I want to do this as a Woman of Tomorrow,not a Woman of Yesterday. Diversity and inclusion are huge themes for our industry yet just 6% of employees are over 50 despite the commercial importance of this demographic.Women in particular suffer and if we manage to survive in the agency world it is often only through carving a part time niche in supportive roles .I am applying to Woman of Tomorrow for the next generation of 40,50 and 60 year olds who have deep experience,incredible muscle memory,productivity, proven resilience and the creative energy to learn and deliver more for the industry.I want to change the perception,the language and then the reality around how older talent is utilised.Let's start a conversation about it and there is no better script than the astute 2017 IPA Excellence Diploma paper The Late Radicals by Olivia Stubbings ,age 31.

A Woman of Tomorrow can be 55 or 31 in our brilliantly diverse industry.

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Yesterday, I wasn’t a Woman of Tomorrow.

I wasn’t the best at school.

Nor at art college or Watford ad school.

And, when I got into the industry, even then—not even close.

But, I desperately wanted to be.

So I dared to think, ‘Why not me?’


She believed she could, so she did”- R.S. Grey, Scoring Wilder

Grey’s quote sums up for me what it takes to be a woman of tomorrow and is fundamental to everything I do.

I’ve always had a strong desire to achieve and make a difference in the industry. This is something Campaign acknowledged in 2015 when I was named one of their Faces to Watch – a distinction I’m both proud of and continue to aspire to.


…Need to be brave.

In 2014 I harnessed the power of fear by going it alone as a single creative. Every day I strive to challenge myself with difficult briefs, present my ideas with confidence, and not be limited by others’ view of what I can and cannot do.

…Need to be heard.

I’ve been one of few female jurors on advertising awards juries such as the Golden Drum Festival and the British Animation Awards.

…Need to support and inspire others.

I work with ‘Future Rising’ giving talks at Universities as well as mentoring junior teams. I’ve given speeches at the Golden Drum and D&AD New Blood, helping to encourage the next generation of creatives to shine in our industry.

…Need to care about tomorrow.

Alongside my role as a Creative I have worked on speculative projects such as the #SHEvotes campaign, and writing a film for Help Refugees to support displaced families across Europe.

…Need to take action.

Advertising is in desperate need of greater diversity in both gender and socio-economic groups. I am currently working in collaboration with my old state comprehensive school to encourage more girls to aspire to a career in advertising.

* * *

‘Alice has a rare blend of passion, humility, and great creative instinct’- Alison Hoad, Chief Strategy officer, BBH

‘I got my first placement through Alice. She was extremely generous with her time and showed us the ropes when we knew very little about agency life. It’s good to know that our industry has role models like Alice’. - Clarissa Dale, Junior Creative, Adam & Eve/DDB

‘Do not underestimate the power of Alice. She is a focussed individual. In her day job she has ideas that resonate. Just two years ago she created the belief that Mrs Claus was the brains behind Christmas for M&S. She is passionate about her beliefs. Only last year she was part of #SHEvotes which encouraged more women to vote in the snap election. All this and she still has time to play. You can currently find Alice on stage in an amateur dramatics performance of Cinderella. Alice is most definitely your woman of tomorrow.’- Yan Elliott, joint ECD, The&Partnership

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I am passionate about life and I try to live with a clear purpose and vision. I don’t believe the best things just happen. I always set myself personal and professional annual objectives divided into 10 categories, ranging from wellness to finance. I also develop a yearly theme which serves as a guiding principle for any decision. This discipline and commitment to reaching my very best has lead me to achieve first class honours in two masters, record a music album, set up and successfully sell two businesses, a boutique agency and a digital publisher with a profit margin over 500%.

I’ve always followed one principle in my career which is to be a servant leader. I believe the best way to rise is by lifting others. During my time as an entrepreneur, I had the privilege of developing brilliant people who drove the businesses forward and in less than three years the agency won many prestigious accounts including HSBC and Mondelez.

“Tai is incredibly talented, she sees broader and cares deeper.” Rucelmar Reis - Founder of HSBC Technology

“Tai made me strive for higher goals and achieve things I could only dream of.” Gisah Akel - Account Director, Sitz.

At Manning Gottlieb OMD, I have found a place where my entrepreneurial and leadership skills are truly valued. I am a Business Director, working with an extremely talented team of 15 people and helping some incredible brands to grow. My role is to provide the right platform for the team to thrive and develop their best work. I’ve created my own development methodology which allows me to identify people’s potential and invest in their growth. I also became a NABS ambassador to leverage all the resources available in our industry to empower people further. I truly believe that if its leaders get better, the whole organisation gets better. The work we are producing has lead to a deep level of trust within our team, with our valued clients, secure incremental new business and build a successful model to run complex accounts. This is being replicated around the world in other Omnicom agencies.

“The relationship we’ve built with Tai is the best relationship with any agency I’ve ever worked with. Her team is truly like an extension of ours.” Ian Mackey – Former Consumer Manager MAC

But it isn't just about the work. My passion for helping people has lead me to train as a coach and volunteer as a marriage counsellor. I lead a marriage preparation course and have so far had the opportunity to meet over 300 couples, equipping them with key principles to build strong relationships.

My journey has given me the opportunity to influence people across many spheres of life. I fully embrace this responsibility and my ambition as a leader is not to create followers but to continue raising future leaders, encouraging them to confidently live up to their full potential. I believe it is this that makes me a true woman of tomorrow.

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“Frosty” to most people, I’m the Director of GROW, the new-born agency from Mindshare.

In June, our Managing Director invited me to lead the agency - and without being too gushy, I have landed my dream job. At 30, I have been given the opportunity to lead a business that is genuinely disrupting the world as we know it.

Some pretty punchy growth targets come with the territory. This is a responsibility I revel in though. I’m responsible for crafting everything that we stand for and a culture that dares us, and our clients, to be different.

I seize every opportunity to constantly learn, broaden my skillset and step outside my comfort zone. In the last 8 years, I have been a planner on Unilever, New Business Director for Mindshare UK (securing our largest UK win, M&S) and Lead Planner on 20th Century Fox’s Home Entertainment. I was largely responsible for delivering Mindshare’s infamous, HUDDLE and remain a UK mBassador, connecting Mindshare markets across the globe.

“Frosty is hugely respected…for her innovative ideas surrounding new business but also her ability to generate new ways of thinking. I have learnt invaluable skills working under Charlotte…which I’m sure I’ll use throughout my career in media” Sophia Evans.

I was 1 of 25 European employees awarded a place on Mindshare’s leadership programme, Momentum. My final project - presented to our European CEOs – shared my agency vision for 2020 and the fundamental changes required to stay ahead of the game. Not only did Momentum nurture my development in business strategy, it provided the vision that permeates our purpose and product at GROW.

Nurturing talent is as much my focus, as running GROW. I’m a regular mentor on Mindshare’s AE training course. I’m a judge for Queen Mary’s University startup incubator programme, inQUBEate. I’m also working with future programmes as a mentor, taking my experience with the startup community to help develop and pitch business concepts to investors.

Startups demand disruption through difference. If we can’t do this, we won’t pitch for their business, it’s that simple. Culturally, creating this disruption requires diversity on all fronts, and I have spent the last 6 months listening to our clients’ needs and fine-tuning our offering to align.

I want GROW to be recognised as the agency that challenges the industry we know. Creating an agency that works for the businesses of tomorrow, replacing old ways with fresh models, championing unsung heroes, clients and talent alike. So, I am;

· recruiting from a diverse pool of people – I’m the only GROW employee who began their career in media

· building bespoke – and often new to market – commercial models suited to our clients but challenge the status quo

· championing flexibility to match individual needs of both our clients and talent. Ps. startups don’t work traditional hours (or break for Christmas) and not everyone does their best work in these hours.

So, we are building packages that allow us to attract and retain the best talent and most importantly, allows talent and clients to grow together.

“Charlotte has played a vital role in developing the relationship between Birchbox and Grow. She’s smart, commercially minded and insightful as well as being warm and approachable. I rely on her expertise and judgement to drive our growth.” Janis Thomas, Mktg Dir, Birchbox UK

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As a Woman of Tomorrow, it's our responsibility to rewrite the rules and make changes that other women (and men) will benefit from, particularly those in more junior roles. Change is a grassroots movement.

I’m a curator rather than a commander. I mentor at Ad School SCA, run the placement programme at my agency and am responsible for the agency’s ‘Creative Fund’ - used to inspire and encourage creativity; I thrive because of the people around me and they need to be able to flourish every damn day.

As Creatives, work extends into play. We’re paid to make work for clients but without the ideas we cultivate outside of our 9-5, we wouldn’t be best serving our clients.

After doing a talk called ‘Don’t Dream, Do’ where I discussed the importance of pulling ideas off the page and making them yourself, I began offering my help to anyone with an unmade idea, in what I call ‘Push Projects’.

My first successful Push Project was ‘Last Man Standing’, a community futsal match in which 6 London youth groups united over a love for sport. The quarterly match is now supported by Nike, Coke, Lad Bible and SbTV. I knew nothing about Futsal but I saw something in Gundeep Anand’s original idea when I saw it stuck in his book.

Making, designing, and using our lateral thinking abilities to problem solve is fundamental to being the best version of ourselves. I push for this often as possible and for more thinking to happen outside of our confirmation-bias bubbles.

Diversity within the creative industries is incredibly important to me. I’ve created campaigns like #SOwhiteproject (a photography initiative that shines a light on the underrepresentation of the BAME community within advertising) and Taxi Fabric (an Indian company which seeks to show society that Design can create change rather than simply being functional) with the specific intention of expanding hiring pools and breaking down social barriers.

With an almost all-male management team, it’s with work like this that my voice is heard. I believe the key to our success as an agency, lies in nurturing people who expect more, collaborate and seek out diverse opinions.

I’ve never hidden my personal voice or agenda. Working hard doesn’t inevitably bring success – you have to put yourself out there.

And I have.

I’ve launched Kickstarter campaigns, spoken to the Queen about rape, chaired a talk at The London Feminism Conference and been part of a White Paper written by Berkley University about the science behind happiness. I wouldn’t be in the position I am in if I didn’t welcome being vulnerable.

In Advertising, words like ‘vulnerable’ can be used against women - along with ‘bossy’, ‘confident’, ‘pushy’ etc. It’s up to us to reclaim this language. As Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient says, “A woman who wants to be a man is a waste of a woman”. It’s because of emotion, empathy and compassion that we, The Women of Tomorrow, behave differently and will make a difference.

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I’ve had an awesome year working with Mr President in London and internationally with purposeful campaigns, initiatives, lecturing, judging and mentoring, and been a keen and active part-taker in the creative industry globally.

Last year me and my team had a huge win with Greenpeace, making pet food brands and the biggest tuna supplier in the world change their practises in the ‘Cats VS Bad Tuna’ campaign.

We delivered another year of successful work for The Body Shop, creating their most engaging Christmas video ever this year with ‘Jungle Bells’ and I went travelling around the world documenting their Community Trade initiatives in Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and Nepal. I also picked up a CLIO Gold for their Mother’s Day campaign ‘Treat Her Like A Queen’.

Diversity is something I’m very passionate about and I’ve been working actively to share my standpoint on how it will make our industry more fair, fun (and profitable!) though being with Mr. President in Cannes as part of the VOWSS team and lecturing and mentoring students at schools like Falmouth University, SCA, Hyper Island and Forsbergs. I’m also a course leader for D&AD on creative leadership, and was named a BIMA 100 driving the UK digital scene and nominated as one of ‘The worlds most creative women’ by The Drum.

Working with Facebook’s I’ve lectured about global connectivity at Silicon Beach and written Huff Post articles on the subject. My judging work also took me to Asia judging the AdStars Festival in Korea.

Outside work I run the ‘Refugee Phones’ initiative in the UK collecting and distributing phones to refugees across Europe bringing connectivity to those in need, an initiative that has been featured widely in the press.

As one of the first people in the creative department at Mr. President I’ve helped shape and grow the agency over the last 5 years. From working on Bacardi ‘Bat Beats’ to the award winning ‘Uber Libre’ campaign and leading The Body Shop account to its greatest successes with campaigns like ‘Treat her like a queen – royal home videos’ to ‘Got it from her’ and ‘Jungle Bells’. I’m currently representing Mr President internationally being a core of expansion plans internationally.

As a woman in this industry, I truly feel that there couldn't be a more exciting time than right now, and tomorrow. Change is happening and there's real opportunity to be a part of inventing the future. A chance to not just be a woman in this industry, but a thought leader that helps define it. There's no place I'd rather be.

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I’ve always been skewed to an insight led role with client servicing. I spent years moving sideways trying to work out what I wanted to do, and this all came together once I joined MediaCom. I’m now the first female Board member within the Birmingham MediaCom team after three years, and three promotions. This didn’t come easily; I’ve had a grassroots approach, from the basics of building a media plan to confidently speaking to clients across media channels. While calling on my previous experience to build consumer, client, and business understanding, evidenced by the strong client satisfaction scores achieved.

The pivotal point in my career was winning Ann Summers. I led the pitch and was the most junior member of the team. I understood the client’s business, increased pitch opportunities and successfully removed challenges from Board members and specialists who didn’t know me, to ensure I addressed the clients brief in a way I felt was right. I also leveraged our network, speaking to our Chairwoman – Karen Blackett OBE, who was able to offer advice about leading from the front as a woman.

I also enjoy the journey I take with clients. Helping them address the challenges they face and becoming a strategic partner to them. I hunger for knowledge and love a challenge, so supporting a client no matter over what duration and what I must learn to do it, means I’m trusted.

One of my most rewarding achievements has been developing an apprentice. Understanding the challenges and development needs, from never having answered an office phone, to showing them the proactive thinking needed to service clients. This same person not only confidently manages client contact but supports and advises our new starters and is a rising star for the future’. I’ve also pushed junior members out of their comfort zone, to help build confidence and highlight their ability. My balance of having softer approachable qualities, along with being vocal and straight talking, mean I’m a strong team leader.

My willingness to support future talent extends outside of work, where I’ve been part of the Transforming Hidden Talent Mentorship. Supporting college students to understand if a role in our industry is right for them, what they should do to get there and providing advice.

I actively support Smart Works, a charity which focuses on empowering and ultimately helping disadvantaged women find work. Supporting women by aiding those in need of confidence building, self-belief, the practical tools to succeed at an interview. I’ve organised clothing collections, hosted the Birmingham branches 1st Birthday with a welcoming speech to open the floor for Smart Works patron Betty Jackson CBE and raised money by cycling to the point of exhaustion.

I support the talent and women of tomorrow. I love a challenge and am willing to grow and learn. I am somebody my team looks up to, as I have accomplished so much in just 3 short years of finally knowing what I want to do. I am the Woman of Tomorrow.

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Growing up, I believed I could achieve anything I put my mind to.

Like many girls, I did well at school by being good. So, when I was selected as one of 4 out of 250 for a graduate scheme I assumed, at work, this would still be the case. How wrong I was. Considering too that studies show if a woman is deemed nice she’s less likely to be seen as competent, it’s no surprise that during my career, I’ve felt I wasn’t truly being recognised. I’ve now come to realise that being a good girl is not good enough.


Back in 2015 I was selected for Engine Futures, a 3-month training programme to develop high potential people. It gave me new skills I still draw upon daily. Looking back, feedback has always shown I have the skills to lead, but what I needed and didn’t know how to get, was self-belief.

Around that time, I shaped a unique cross-agency role at Engine to drive integration for one of our biggest clients. I transformed the team from chaotic, unprofitable and siloed; overhauling our remuneration model, streamlining processes and winning an IPA Effectiveness Award. By building relationships, I got to the heart of the issues, something that has always set me apart. I thrive on supporting and nurturing our talent as a mentor in the agency, for clients and even peers and past team members. While now I know the value I brought to that role is still recognised today (in fact it’s the main reason I’m selected to lead pitches), at the time I still felt I wasn’t good enough.

Things radically changed again in 2017 when I was selected for Engine’s Better with Balance (BWB) programme. BWB was created to fast-track women not yet at partner level. As well as lowering the ladder and supporting the next generation, we worked on our ‘self’.

For me, this meant realising that I’d always been a good girl, doing what I thought other people wanted. So the day after the course, I met my Department Head and bravely said “I want to be Managing Partner’.

I’ve not looked back.

I now put my hand up, I’m selected for initiatives and continually push myself out of my comfort zone. In the last year, as well taking on a management role, I’ve:

- Led the campaign development for IPA Women of Tomorrow including Sharon Horgan’s podcast

- Initiated and produced an award-winning pro-bono campaign for Duchenne UK

- Requested training to enhance my creative skills and carved myself a role as ‘creative champion’ to encourage account handling and creative to work more closely

- Won a trip to SXSW and explored my passion around how AI will complement our work (and closely follow Sarah Golding’s Magic and Machines Agenda)

- Built a robot using TJBot and IBM Watson to inspire others to learn outside their discipline

- Encouraged my department to attend wider industry talks and share learnings

- Supported the ‘Engine Parents Forum’ I founded on return from maternity leave

To be recognised as a Woman of Tomorrow, I want to show others that they too should not hold back. The best is yet to come.

For all references please see:, or

For my robot go to instagram #wcrsbot

Duchenne Awards:

Best Digital-led Campaign and Best Integrated Campaign, Creative Circle

Branded Content Strategy, The Drum

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I’ve always had a passion for solving problems. It’s one of the main reasons I became a creative. I’m that annoying person. The one who doesn’t stop thinking, creating, making and questioning until I can find a way to solve things. And I love it. I always like to do the unconventional, the road less travelled.

Early on at JWT, I felt I could give Rimmel a more defined personality and point of view. I persuaded them to let me blog for them about London life. Rimmel quickly became the voice of London and I continued to blog for them for 4 years.

At CHI&Partners, The Princes Trust had a poster brief to drive fund raising. I didn’t think posters would do the trick, so proposed a transformable shop. A shop that would host a different entrepreneur each month. We called it ‘The Tomorrow’s Store’, and not only did it raise money, it gave young entrepreneurs high-street visibility to showcase and sell their work. Winning numerous industry awards, The Tomorrow’s Store is still running today, and is one of my proudest achievements.

Last November at NOW, I worked with the Women’s Equality Party to create a guerrilla campaign asking women to switch their Out Of Office on in support of Equal Pay Day. Because if women aren’t being paid the same as men, why should they work at all? This campaign united women in workplaces across the UK.

Outside of work, my friend and I set up a small sustainable fashion business ‘Back of the Wardrobe’. We spent our weekends delving into women’s wardrobes to create new looks from their existing clothes, reinvigorating both their look and their self-image.

I also helped launch a friend’s restaurant in Stockport ‘Where The Light Gets In’ consulting on design, branding and marketing. This year it was named among the top 10 UK restaurants outside of London.

I am part of a volunteer-powered free neighbourhood film festival in Herne Hill giving local young filmmakers a chance to screen their films in front of audiences.

And last year, I started my own alcoholic Candy Floss business, Sweet Mother Fluffer, which has been featured on The Drum.

Back in 2013, I was a Campaign ‘Face To Watch’. This had a profound effect on me. I have never had a female boss. It always made me question what kind of leader I wanted to become.

Since then, I have worked with countless young teams, creating a fun, supportive environment, where teams are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones inside and outside of work. Every year I host workshops with universities to encourage creatives to think differently. And I am part of the IME mentorship program that helps give young unemployed people support and advice.

To be a Woman of Tomorrow is daunting. But I wish I could have had someone to look up to when I was starting out. To show that we can be our own bosses, launch our own ideas, and follow our own path.

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I am Head of Activation and Client Services at Kinetic UK. I lead our largest department of 80 people, with 8 direct reports, delivering brilliant Outdoor campaigns for 800+ brands every year. I proudly have 20 years in Outdoor and whilst it might be the oldest media channel; I truly believe it is now one of the most dynamic and creative. I’m committed to making sure this continues to be the case for everyone, both today and tomorrow!

Inspiring #FutureMe

I’m privileged to lead and inspire a fantastic team to deliver brilliant integrated and innovative OOH solutions, with first class service to grow Outdoor investment. Apparently, I am driven, passionate and impart integrity (qualities I hugely value in my team too). Empowering my colleagues is critical – so I often challenge myself to be better by putting my younger self in the audience.

Real world value

My leadership qualities have really excelled over the past 3 years and I’m often at the forefront of projects to evolve and future proof our business, enhancing our value offering to clients. I firmly believe that everyone has their role to play in shaping this.

Here are just a few of the projects I have created and implemented to continuously improve our business:

• Positive Change Management – creating a new unified Activation department, delivering efficiencies, reducing staff turnover, broadening skillsets and delighting clients. In 2017 our client service scores increased by 5% yoy and staff churn reduced by 42%.

• Developed ‘Business Planning Day’, a company wide initiative to uniquely inspire and educate our people in areas of creativity, planning and client service. Kinetic is the most creatively awarded specialist in the last 2 years.

• Created ‘Springboard’, a junior board, which meet quarterly to solve real challenges facing Outdoor and our business.

Bigger picture

Outside of Advertising, I am a parent volunteer for Steps, a charity that supports parents and children affected by lower limb conditions. I first discovered Steps after my daughter was born with a lower limb disability. During a major leg lengthening procedure she endured, I decided to write a blog about her experience to help other children and families about to embark on a similar journey.

2018 Step change

My goal in 2018 is to drive Diversity across the Outdoor sector, particularly championing Women. Outdoor is evolving rapidly, but is behind other channels and media agencies in balanced representation. My efforts began in 2017 when I ran a company wide session, which honestly addressed the unique challenges women face. I was then invited into JC Decaux to present this session to their sales team. I am launching this project with my CEO in April, which will encompass an industry wide forum to address Diversity across the Outdoor sector.

A woman of tomorrow would take this bold risk to drive change and celebrate positive outcomes for the future. If we can make a difference for our clients then why can’t we do the same for the diversified benefit of our broader industry?

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My writer, Nicholas, and I are lucky enough to work on some of the agency’s highest profile briefs. We try to use this platform to create bold, successful work that makes a positive difference in culture (and hopefully dispel some undermining myths about female creative ability).

We created #Bloodnormal for Bodyform: ending the blue liquid era, showing period blood for the first time in ad history and helping normalise periods. We worked unending hours, fought obstacles and outright no’s, pushing against this entrenched taboo. It’s been hailed as groundbreaking by major news organisations and I’m proud about the heartfelt global responses.

Our anti-terror podcast for MET Police reached no.2 in the iTunes charts and has helped move the agency away from traditional campaigns.

While Guinness “Sapeurs”, the story of Congolese dandies helped put the brand back into positive growth for the first time in years, the most rewarding was seeing it praised for showing Africans as positive role models and cultural equals.

Previously, we were part of the team that did the Black Pencil winning Zimbabwean "Trillion Dollar” campaign that helped the newspaper survive against the brutal Mugabe regime.

I’ve also CD’d awarded, effective work and recently led the winning pitch for Alzheimer’s Research.

I sit on international juries like Cannes, D&AD and One Show. And have been named as one of The One Show & 3% Movement’s 10 Next Creative Leaders, as well as Management Today’s 35 under 35.

The South African phrase “each one, teach one” is my motto. I’ve learnt from inspirational people like Cilla Snowball, Rosie Arnold, Sandra deWitt, Alex Grieve, Adrian Rossi and Dave Buchanan. In turn, I mentor a number young women and teams, help students with their books and do talks and workshops with organisations including D&AD NewBlood and St Martin’s. I also help One Show with young creative development programmes.

My mentee, Josie Shedden says, “Nadja nurtures by example. She’s helped me grow confidence and encourages me to have a voice myself. She’s like one of the cool older girls at school you want to emulate.”

I tackle leadership by looking for the best way to collaborate with others and get the best from them; I’m always honest and straight; I bring humour, humility and complete commitment to challenges and won’t rest until I know I’ve put every ounce of creativity into the task.

My ECD’s Alex and Adrian wrote something kind about me: “There’s absolutely no point us telling you Nadja has talent. That’s clear from her body of work. So, what we’d like to tell you is how she uses that talent. How she uses it to make others better. How that talent is honed through Stakhanovite levels of hard work. How she remains humble when she has won everything. How she is fearless in knowing when to stand firm and wise enough to understand when to bend. You can only lead if people want to follow. People would follow Nadja anywhere. She is a woman of tomorrow shaping today.”

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Hello. I’m Keli and this is my story.

Chapter 1: I leave school at 15, naively thinking education is a waste of time. I have 0 qualifications. I start out as receptionist. My switchboard is beside the marketing department, so I blag my way in.

Chapter 2: I’m an exec at a tiny Scottish agency. My 1st campaign (a PPB) involved researching Emily Pankhurst; I then realised how sucky being a woman could be.

Chapter 3: London’s bright lights called so I interviewed at Bates UK. A 300-people agency. It was like a movie-set. I didn’t get the job. Devastated, I wrote explaining why I deserved it. That letter changed their mind. And my future.

Chapter 4: 10 years & 2 agencies later I joined Frame. 7 of us above a Chinese restaurant. A movie-set, it was not. But, within 3 years I ran the Subway Sandwich account, was flying to South Africa to shoot cider ads and pitching alongside my mentor, Alan Frame. A man I would have followed into a burning building. He then promoted me to Client Services Director. BUT, I lost my bottle and stood down. I didn’t believe I was ready and terrified someone would discover I was a blagger. I failed and no-one was there to save me from myself.

Chapter 5: After successful stints elsewhere, I returned to Frame. I no longer felt like a blagger. I was a wife and mum by then. My husband (who has his own design co.) tells me I’m the most inspiring person he’s ever met. I was confident. I felt brave. I still had the odd wobble (*only taking 5mths maternity leave, afraid someone would steal my job).

BUT they were few and far between and I’d gotten a grip of the fear.

(*A big regret. I now tell the 5 working Frame mums to take lots of time off with their babies. I promise to keep their seat warm).

Chapter 6: In 2016 I won every pitch and smashed my targets. I was nominated Agency Star of the Year and awarded a Fellowship from The Marketing Society. I didn’t have to blag it anymore. Phew.

My current chapter: I’m 41 and Deputy MD of Frame. There’s no longer 7 of us.

We’re a 65-strong agency delivering strategic, creative, digital, PR & media solutions to 70+ clients. I’m proud and inspired by our journey. Yet what most inspires me is my team. I LOVE people. Their flaws and idiosyncrasies. It’s why I’m in advertising. My team are my core target audience. I encourage them to scream, learn, laugh, be kind and get home in time for Storage Hunters.

In 2017 (following an IPA Leadership Course) I revamped our appraisal process and implemented a training programme. My ambition is to ensure all Framers are driven by the potential of creativity. I am described as having an infectious enthusiasm for THE WORK.

Word on the street is robots are going to do us all out of a job. Bravo! If AI can make our lives more efficient, we should embrace it. But creativity comes from a different place.

It comes from a human talent which is prodded, poked, motivated & supported and this is what I do. For ALL Framers; the mums, dads, juniors, cool kids AND those less-than-brave blaggers. I believe this to be my job. Now, more than ever.

Outside of Frame duties, I try to keep my brain buzzing and give something back: Pioneering Spirit Award Judge; MCR Pathways Young Person Mentor; Creativity lecture at Strathclyde Uni; Published article in The Scotsman; Guest Speaker at industry events. My proudest moment is this internal email: Thanks for being so supportive, so cool & such an inspiration to me. We’re lucky you’re now our Deputy MD. You rock.

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I’m Lolly.

I am an illustrator and designer at heart. I love to create beautiful things. Creativity is in my bones and I feel so lucky to call this my career, sometimes I pinch myself that this is the job that I get to do everyday. I co-manage a fantastic team of 12 designers, animators and illustrators. I love my team and have made it our mission to “Be the team that everyone wants to be in, creating the work that everyone else wish they made”, we work hard and produce awesome work. But we have a lot of fun too. I am constantly pushing my team to get better, improve their work and their outlook. I truly believe that in the 4 years I have been at Iris, I have been fundamental in turning the Digital design time into an incredible power house within the agency. My plan over the next year is to get even more recognition for my team, keep creating even more epic work. And… to get some gold and silverware would be nice.

I have become extremely ambitious since becoming a mum. I have a two-year-old son called Ernest. All those hours away from home, all that money spent on childcare has to count for something. So, this year I decided to put myself out there, to try to achieve more for myself, my team and the industry. In 2017 I was named one of Creative Equals’ “30 Future Leaders”, Pitch magazine’s “100 Superwomen”, GoDaddy & Campaign’s “Top 5 Women in Creative Tech” and finally won Iris’s “Pioneering” award in this year’s Iris Christmas “Oskars”. I even had my Domino’s GIF-Feelings work nominated at Cannes!

The last couple of years, returning from maternity I have had my ups and downs. To be honest, I’m not sure how I held my sh*t together when my son was small. But I met my deadlines, was promoted twice, and began running a team (on very little sleep). Somehow got through it with the support of my family and colleagues, and I’m proud of myself for how much I have achieved. So now I am offering support for my fellow working women and in particular, working Mums. I am a “Mummy Mentor” at Iris, as well as getting involved with SheSays events and The Dots portfolio masterclasses.

I always go the extra mile, I think all women in the Creative industry do, which is why they are still here.

I’m a big believer in small-achievable goals, and 18 months ago I wanted to become better at drawing, so I started doodling on my commute for 5-10 minutes a day. This idea became @stalkerdoodle on Instagram, an obsession ever since. I find random people via #selfie, doodle them, and send them a picture of it. I get better at drawing, and they realise how public their personal photos are. Everybody wins.

Here’s my portfolio, you can check out the cool stuff I’ve been doing.

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In 2016 I became Head of Digital Engagement at MEC Wavemaker, making me their youngest female head of department. I grew my team from 8 to 13 people and achieved a revenue increase of +15% YOY. I’m also a total pitch machine working on 18 pitches in 2 years at a success rate of 90%.

I’ve produced a basket of award winning work including the Netflix FOMOmeter which won over 4 awards and was shortlisted at Cannes Lions 2016.

My current focus is writing the social media strategy for Public Health England, which helps people detect early signs of cancer and strokes. My work with the 50+ audience has been awarded a Social Buzz Award and saved many lives amongst an ageing population.

I’m incredibly passionate about shaping an industry that the next generation will want to join. I was awarded for my millennial insights within my Media Week 30 under 30 entry and I spoke at the MEC EMEA conference and culturevist events on ‘eight rules for managing millennials’. This helped MEC and other companies understand how to attract and retain young talent and shape their rising talent programmes. I also coach the prospective 30 under 30 talent through the awards process including writing entries and practicing presentations.

This year I helped my own rising star win at the CMA’s – “Abi’s priority is always the success of the team and we know that she’ll always support us. The guidance and inspiration she’s given me has enriched my career hugely and I’m very lucky to be in her team.” Tom Cornish, Planning Director

I have collaborated and mentored startups through the London Co-Investment fund to help them work better with agencies. I also was part of the founding team for MEC4ALL, which started as a female empowerment initiative but grew to stand for diversity and equality for everyone.

I am a regular in Campaign magazine writing about digital innovation and I also penned a piece advocating that ‘badly behaved women never made history’. I am the only female writer in MEC in the LinkedIn ‘Agency Voices’ programme and I’m not afraid to tackle tough topics around measurement and tech. I have taken controversial stances like refusing to take on clients who want to post organically in a 1% organic era due to a lack of accountability back to their business.

I entered the Women of Tomorrow Awards in 2016. I was so desperate to win and I took the loss badly. I lost my confidence to again. In the following 2 years I won 5 awards including the WPP High Potential Group, Media Week 30 under 30 and Media Week Rising star, but I felt an ache about the Women of Tomorrow. What I realised in my 10 years of being a woman in the advertising industry is that being a leader is about facing your failure, picking yourself up and going again. I want to set an example as a leader who is tenacious, so here I am again.

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A friend recently said "you live your life with the most wonderful amount of action at its heart - you make goals and you make them happen".

When I started my career I set a goal to become a Business Director. I didn’t consider a role beyond this, I just knew that to earn my stripes, build my skill set and to accomplish this level of success would be a huge achievement. I didn’t expect to reach that level by 26, let alone be a Managing Partner and Management Board member for one of the leading media agencies in our industry, Wavemaker, at 29.

I believe within an industry that prides itself on innovation and a company founded on future makers, ‘doers’ are the people who will make our personal, business and industry wide goals a reality. I respect doers. In turn I pride myself as someone who is driven to do, and do so with passion.

This enthusiasm and drive has been critical in defining some of my career highlights to date. From being invited as a keynote speaker to discuss the value of content marketing at Cannes Entertainment in 2016, to leading a number of pitches including the winning MINI pitch in November 2016, contributing to MEC’s most successful new business year. To supporting the development of MEC’s new global planning proposition and proactively co-developing an internal training programme designed to enable and empower our people to deliver best in class data fuelled strategies and ideas. An initiative and example of my desire to help others that was fundamental to me achieving a position on MEC’s strategic work board in January 2017, something I was particularly proud of as the only Business Director on a board. To finally helping my client’s deliver their ambitions of global transformation by redefining their approach to planning. Following great success, the model was rolled out to BENELUX and my leadership in designing and implementing this revised operational model was pivotal in my recent promotion to Managing Partner for the cluster.

My passion and drive extends beyond my personal career development. In 2011 I launched the commercially acclaimed lifestyle blog, and have spent the last six years not only creating lifestyle and travel content for which I am an enthusiast, but developing a dedicated careers section where I share my experiences, tips and advice to help other women and men on their career journeys. From gaining confidence with public speaking, to interview tips & managing progression plans; my career editorials garner the most engagement from my 40,000+ readers. My mentoring extends beyond the virtual world, as I continue to support ex colleagues and team members in my spare time.

I thrive on projects, opportunities and initiatives like those mentioned above; they motivate me, inspire me and help me continuously learn, but most importantly they contribute to our business and industry too. I hope my passion and action orientated drive is what makes me a worthy candidate for IPA’s woman of tomorrow.

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Hello. I’m Kate. Head of New Business at JWT, London and Europe.

If I’d written this entry a few years ago (grappling with the same female and British horror of lauding myself), it would be a linear story: youngest AD then youngest managing partner in the Agency; WPP High Potentials; WPP Integrated Team of the Year; re-writing our graduate trainee programme; growing a 7-figure global P&L; successful 54 market client partnership. So far, so Type-A normal.

It’s the disruptive things which happened to me and crucially I made happen, that make me now a different type of woman, different type of leader, and with different potential to achieve and take many more people along with me on the ride.

I used to be female Type-A normal in the other, dangerous ways. Call it fear of failure or imposter syndrome…the often fatal female pre-disposition towards quiet conscientiousness, industriousness and ‘risk’ avoidance (not recognising differences between risk and reasonable challenge). This is what I’m passionate about changing in others – and changed in myself. If we can unlock that potential, there's a whole new tomorrow.

What changed? Let's call them the 3 D’s of Disruption. I wouldn’t recommend my precise steps of divorce, death and departure (aka moving country), but you’d get an equivalent result with milder versions. What I did for myself was join a new-model creative start-up of 6 soon after moving to Italy. Supposedly “advisory” conversations from my safe position became a challenge to join them. From defining positioning, purpose and business plans to buying printing ink and staples...I loved it all. I went from winning and running a €10,000 2-day workshop (all in my borderline-deficient Italian at that stage), to us winning €250,000 projects and replacing a client’s agency of 10 years' standing. A global best practice case for KLM airlines. From fundraising for Milan Design Week Fuorisalone, to advising on creative urban regeneration in Milan. I learned how to hustle, dream and pull off some quite big sh*t – simultaneously.

Two children, Italian husband and another country move I am. Too many stories for 500 words. Happy to elaborate if we meet.

My new stats: we are a new, new business team here. I recruited my team on starting just over a year ago. We have a new agency management group, new narrative, new materials, new pitch playbook. Uniting our different discipline businesses. Our conversion rates 2017 are 98% for RFI, 94% for chemistry and 67% for final pitch (compared to 30% previous year). We delivered new business revenue increase of 40% vs PY – for significantly lower pitch budgets.

Along the way we've also done what matters, pitching and producing work for UN Women with their first Violence Against Women and Girls campaign, and Girl Guiding's Know Your Place campaign. I’m thrilled to be mentor to 4 fabulous (award-winning) women of tomorrow, advisor to many more, and try daily to make my two little girls proud – they are my women of tomorrow.

My mantra is to judge ourselves on the progress we make, not how many busy things we have done. To get into the trenches and lead by example. To put all kinds of good out there - karma does work and she is your friend. Our team goal for 2018 is not to do more (impossible) but to do bigger and better - both within the industry and ourselves.

"Kate is thoughtful, driven, committed to team success. Her honesty gene is what gives her sincerity and authenticity" Tamara Ingram CEO

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I’m Ciara, an award winning, Associate Creative Director hailing from the west of Ireland. My career began at Ogilvy & Mather Dublin making work for global brands such as Coca-Cola and GSK. From there I joined integrated agency Brando and within 2 years helped the agency win Ireland’s first digital Cannes Lion for O2. I then moved to DDB Canada where I continued to be awarded for my work and in less than a year was on the Canadian Strategy Top Art Directors list, twice.

Now, I’m based in London. I started at Joint London in July 2017 and currently work on Amazon, Kettle Chips, Thatchers Cider and TSB. Before here I was at BETC as lead creative on Danone and Rimmel. While there I made the first song scientifically tested to make babies happy for Cow & Gate gaining the brand a UK number one, created new global brand campaigns and positionings for both Bacardi and Rimmel, helped bring back the hunk for Diet Coke and made the cutest ad ever according to Ad Week for Ibis Hotels. I also used my creative skills to fundraise hundred of pounds for Shelter by designing and selling black Christmas jumpers.

My ambition extends well beyond my creative work. Besides being in charge of recruiting placement creatives and mentoring junior talent inside agency walls, outside I’m heavily involved with mentoring young female talent in the industry. My passion for mentoring has grown from being part of the She Says committee for the last three years where I organise free events and workshops to help champion female creatives. Since being part of the initiative I have helped encourage younger talent by redesigning and relaunching their Young & Awesome project, and started a new yearly event called 'Ones To Watch' that celebrates six new female creatives (ad creatives, illustrators, photographers and directors), that is now in its third year. I also have a particular interest in making the industry more diverse and in turn created the groups first diversity event that highlighted people trying to create change and what still needs to be done. I’m also a mentor for the She Says Who’s Your Momma programme and in the last year have helped three young female creatives with their careers.

As evidence to my increasing influence and rise as an industry leader, I was asked to give a lecture at LCC in 2017 to their design and culture students, have had my opinion published in industry publications such as Shots on trends in advertising and in The Drum for my future facing work. I was also picked as a top female creative to watch in the She Says 'I am Reindeer' campaign 2016, judged at Le Book, and invited to talk at industry events about overcoming creative obstacles for She Says 'Horror Stories' at Karmarama, and how to close the gender pay gap for 'Nough talk, let's get sh*t done' at Major Players.

I’m focused on improving the industry and intent on helping it change. At the end of 2017 I created and launched a campaign for She Says to generate awareness and change of the gender pay gap called #51days51ways. It involved 51 solutions over the 51 days that women don't get paid (according to statistics) on how to close the gap from top industry people such as Cindy Gallop, Laura Jordan Bambach, Ali Hanan and Rosie Arnold.

On a final note, I’m a passionate and determined person, who is as enthusiastic about this industry now as I was on day one. As a Woman of Tomorrow I’m excited to see where it will go in the years ahead as I continue to grow with it.

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I’m a Strategy Director, a small business owner, a women’s coach and a mum. I believe in being able to bring the whole of one’s self into the workplace; every skill, strength, passion and, of course, every weakness.

Wunderman has helped me see that a career should be unlimited. With them, I’ve been able to grow, have developed my own personal resilience method and have been able to help others, too. I’m the Lead on a super-exciting account (Samsung), but also have a bigger purpose in life to help women flourish. I joined Wunderman three years ago. Since then, they’ve helped me find purpose in both these things; I’ve helped form a team, kick-started a women’s mentoring programme and, like many women, have overcome some pretty big obstacles professionally and personally.

Many women can relate to having periods in their careers where they’ve lost confidence or found their motivation waning. Prior to joining Wunderman, this had become almost my constant state. When I joined the team here, I was encouraged to be honest. This helped me not only grow self-assurance but also grow a new role for myself. I now feel like I’m developing every single day, and I use this experience to help others.

I’m the Champion speaker in our women’s leadership training programme ‘Pass It On’, where women at every stage in their careers learn how to build a professional life that they love. The ambition is simple: give them the tools and network they need in order to be promoted, help them become more fulfilled, and create more women leaders in the industry. This sharing platform has made such a huge difference to women at Wunderman already, and it’s only in its second year.

In order to further help women grow, I have my own small business; Clementine is an app that helps women overcome anything from self-doubt to low confidence to overwhelm at work. I juggle this against a Huffington Post blog, a monthly podcast and an experience-sharing community.

I’m grateful to Pip Hulbert, Wunderman CEO, for nominating me. Through her I was able to make a critical step-change in my career and make the Wunderman values part of my personal and professional life: Own It (never dropping the ball for clients, my team, my family), Collaboration (see that I don’t have all the answers), Be Generous (because we all have something to offer others) and Get Uncomfortable (I succeed at this every day).

My working style is no-bullshit (not quite as no-bullshit as Cindy Gallop, but getting there). My team would say dedicated to driving better experiences for clients and that I’m ‘all-in’ when it comes to team work. I don’t believe in hierarchies and never will. More than anything, I want to be a good mum (who doesn’t?) and always inspire women to do more, because they can have a great career, a great home-life and a great a side-passion. And there are so many professional women who can help them achieve it.

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As a planner at JWT, for the past 5 years I have worked on collecting and mining female insight, culminating in a global study: The Female Tribes, having become frustrated with the narrow lens through which women were represented in popular culture. The project was initially fuelled through extensive desk research but has grown into a global proprietary study covering over 8000 women, aged 17-70 years across 19 different countries: perhaps the largest female insight study of its kind within the industry. I combined this work with my day job, convinced that the story of what I term ‘Female Capital’ – the value that women bring to the world as women- needed to be told.

I have used this insight to inspire a more progressive and authentic representation of women through advertising, challenging stereotypes and unconscious bias, but also through product and service design to change the way the world works for women. Female Tribes has been embraced by the agency at all levels, and I have led the initiative to recruit teams around the network to build local expertise, this year launching Female Tribes Consulting, a response to client demand for a bespoke service enabling business to design their products and services through a female lens. I’m also proud to say that Female Tribes has inspired graduates to work with the agency as part of our recruitment programme.

As part of our work on Female Tribes I’ve championed a number of initiatives to challenge the limited representation of women:

• Produced 4 part documentary Her Story: the female revolution with BBC World News to tell the story of female progress

• Led the development of the 2017 #FThePayGap campaign for International Women’s Day

• Championed the development of the Gender Quota Study in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media- a study of gender representation across the past 10 years of Cannes advertising entries

• Led the development of the #drawaline Campaign with UN Women UK to end violence against women and girls

This year will mark the launch of the Female Tribes book, to be published by Penguin Random House, enabling me to further spread the message of Female Capital, demonstrate that femininity is a strength not a weakness busting the entrenched stereotypes around women.

What people are saying about Female Tribes:

• “#Squadgoals Is Over. It’s Time For Female Tribes” Elle Magazine UK

• “At Advertising week last month, I saw an incredible talk from Rachel Pashley of JWT on Female Tribes Her central premise was that we should start defining women by their possibilities and not their responsibilities”. IPA Blog

• “It is a fascinating look at how we have all evolved away from a single stereotype of stay-at-home mum” Forensem Marketing

• “The top authors on the matter – such as JWT’s Rachel Pashley and the indomitable Cindy Gallop – are evidently female” Katie Deighton, The Drum, On Gender Inequality.

• “’Change the narrative on women to be game changing’ Great quote from Rachel Pashley” @APGLondon event #femaletribes @damayanti_p

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Hello. I’m Sabrina, Global Head of Social & Content at Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), and I believe my core beliefs make me a Woman of Tomorrow…

1) Always go BEYOND the expected.

Fundamental to my way of working, this approach has helped me transform functions from zero to hero in short periods of time.

As the youngest member now of the Global MarComms Leadership Team at DAN, my role is to build a Global Social & Content Centre of Excellence. Within 9 months, we achieved +2500% growth in engagement and DAN went from being practically invisible to one of the Top 3 Agencies for its global social presence, recognised by Digimind in 2017. Following a year of rapid growth, my remit has evolved to encompass the wider Global Digital Marketing Strategy, with data and revenue at its core.

2) Help others GROW with you.

Success is entirely dependent on building high performance teams. At DAN, I coach numerous teams across the brands and markets, not just in social and digital but in the development of strategic thinking. To succeed, everyone must be performing at the top of their game and I see achieving that as a major part of any role.

Away from work, I also mentor two teenage girls from a local school. According to the Department of Education, more than 1 in 3 girls aged 14-15 suffer from anxiety, depression or lack of self-esteem, reflecting a 10% rise in the past decade. I want these girls to defy that statistic by helping them build their confidence and resilience, enabling them to enter the workplace with transferable skills.

3) LEARN from industries other than your own.

My reputation for transformation has resulted in being invited to speak at industry events, including the keynote at Forrester Marketing Europe on going “From Social Media Silo to Business Transformation” – I was not only the youngest speaker on stage but the only female on a panel discussing the future of advertising alongside the Global CMOs of Hostelworld & DHL. I was also invited to represent the Travelex CMO at #IPASocialWorks, an exciting opportunity to contribute to and learn from leading edge discussions on digital effectiveness with social media leaders across a variety of industries.

I believe learning from other industries is key, and providing consultancy for a range of brands spanning the Fashion, Events, Pharmaceutical & Food industries has resulted in my exposure to a wider breadth of business challenges. I was particularly pleased to support the development of “Back Me Up”, an insurance start-up launched in 2016, with community at the heart.

My life outside of work as a singer has also been invaluable in helping me grow, both personally and professionally, while supporting my chamber choir with pro bono publicity and marketing has resulted in the opportunity to get to grips with another exciting vertical, working with the likes of Classic FM and BBC Radio 3.

So why do I think I’m a Woman of Tomorrow?

Because at 27, working in a male-dominated industry, I’ve sat alongside Global CMOs discussing the future of the advertising industry.

Because I believe in supporting people as you go along; education is the only currency you can truly rely on.

Because I believe you can never stop learning… Go beyond what you know and prepare to be surprised.

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As Director of Innovation at Wavemaker, I’ve had a unique career path, from brand to start-up to agency. This diverse experience is the foundation for the areas I am most passionate about – growth, change, education and disruption.

I’m a wife, and a mother to Sebastian, the kindest little soul I know. I love being a working mum; watching my parents work so hard growing up inspired me and gave me strong role models to look up to. I hope to be the same.

I spend at least one evening a week offering career advice to those starting out, whether school leavers in search of inspiration or start-ups looking to break the mould. I find this particularly fulfilling - I get my kicks from seeing people succeed.

‘Sarah helped me find my feet when I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Her recognition of my skill set and strengths gave me the confidence to apply for jobs I didn’t think I would get, but I did.’ Charlie, Graduate

Lead by example: I understand the importance of good leadership, having been mentored myself by people who recognized my talents and helped me to realise them. This is how I lead. Recognising the unique skills of people, offering support and nurturing them to become the future women of tomorrow.

Take risks: From moving to New York and delivering a business plan, to taking Equinox’s content site to a stand-alone business. Launching a start-up. And most recently, joining an agency in a completely new innovation role because I believe that in order to be good at marketing you need to be an innovator.

Champion alternative definitions for success: Whilst my day job is all about client projects, I believe extra work is needed to proactively set an agenda for innovation. I have challenged the conventional approach and believe innovation is a cultural issue. By facilitating and providing tools to everyone, collaboration has meant innovation is on the plan for many clients for the first time.

Make a difference: Last year, I questioned the fact that only 2% of VC funds went to female-founded start-ups and launched an initiative to get advertising agencies to stop tech tourism and support the long-term future of female founders. Beyond mentoring entrepreneurs with the support of some awesome people at Wavemaker, we sponsored a digital academy for female entrepreneurs and drove awareness of the need for change. I was also able to recruit some passionate colleagues to champion the mission.

‘Somebody like Sarah is the ultimate person you could look for as an advisor when founding a start-up Working alongside her as an advocate for innovative start-ups at a grass roots level, has been truly inspiring; She’s a true champion of startups.’ Amber, CEO, Zyper

I have followed a path that has been right for me. One that has allowed me to continually develop my skills, drive change, and go to work being proud that I am making difference. For me, a woman of tomorrow carves out her own path and is bold and brave enough to take risks. I believe I am a woman of tomorrow.

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As a Managing Partner at Havas Media my role is to put together the most effective and efficient media plans for my clients. Together with our strategy and insight teams I ensure brands are getting every ounce of value from their investment and go into every brief excited about where it’ll take them.

I believe the best way to achieve that is to care hugely about what you do, how you behave and what you stand for.

I’m feisty, opinionated and driven. But I’m human.

I’m a wife, and mother of three; I am the youngest of four, and a twin. I’m passionate about family and that extends to work. The responsibility I have for the happiness of my 15-strong team is something I take incredibly seriously. It is my job to ensure they are thriving, motivated and fulfilled, and if they’re not I must resolve that. We spend more time at work than home so I want to make work interesting and fun for us all. I want my guys to know I’ve got their backs.

I speak my mind and speak up for those without a voice.

I vehemently believe a degree is not essential in media, so I kick-started our Apprenticeship Scheme to give opportunities to kids with an alternative academic background.

I helped launch our Mentorship Programme to identify and nurture existing talent.

I pioneered an improved maternity policy that would ease the financial burden for new parents.

I helped found Havas Family, a support network for parents and carers.

I also provide support and advice to young women coming through the business, helping those who are questioning whether a big job and motherhood are compatible.

I get stuff done and I get stuff going.

When my son’s under-8 football team was looking for a manager my husband put me forward, sick of me directing from the sidelines. I’ve now qualified as an FA Level 1 Coach and took the team to victory in three out of four tournaments last summer. This has become a replica of my working life: I direct my football team with noise and passion, strategising and analysing, but I am also responsible for the happiness and development of eight little individuals who just want to enjoy themselves.

I want to see change and create it.

Clients should have access to passionate and real-world agency partners.

I’m pleased progress is finally being made in flexibility and attitudes to parents, stemming the industry’s brain drain.

When I challenged my 10-year-old on how much American TV she watches she said no other channels showed children who look like her. She wants a role model, someone with the same colour skin, cast as the heroine.

The rise of the vlogger shows kids want someone to relate to. I want that in business. There is much work still to do to positively impact the lives of tomorrow’s leaders. We need better representation in senior management, and on stage. The BAME tide is turning but too slowly.

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I’ve often had a bit of a dilemma in my advertising career - I love what I do, but is it “good” that I’m doing? Am I actually using my job to make the world a bit better? It’s sometimes felt hard to say, proudly: “I work in the advertising industry”. However over the last year or so, I think I’ve made a bit of a shift, and come closer to working out what within it makes me tick as a leader (and sure, a female one) within our industry.

For me, it’s two things:

1) Creating a space for brilliant creative people

2) Using our powers for “good” wherever possible.

So, I’ve spent my time at Creature - and in the wider ad world - working to do more of this, and inspiring others to do the same.

On that first point, I’ve tried to structure my (and Creature’s) approach around two things: people and place, (said like a true Geographer). Brilliant creative people are everywhere, and it’s on us to find them and get them to agencies to make us better – I’ve always believed that you don’t get more diverse recruitment by opening the door a bit wider; you get it by going out, making an effort and finding people who don’t know what the hell advertising agencies are and saying ‘you might be great at this’. So, this year, I built on experiences previously from working with the Ideas Foundation and reached out a bit further – eventually rejigging our whole recruitment process, and finding our Account Executive, Jess, from The Prince’s Trust ‘Get Hired’ scheme. I also invited 5 classes (and counting) of inquisitive 8 year olds in to learn what it’s like being an advertising bod. For me, this is about finding people that might never have known what jobs in agencies were and now might stick with us. On place, I’ve tried to make the Account Management department within Creature somewhere where everyone’s creativity is respected, valued and encouraged – this year we’ve been out and about to things like the New Designers’ exhibition to see what the latest grads are up to, I encouraged people from all departments to be vocal and submit ideas for ads in our sponsorship of Watford Ladies, and pushed to support flexible working for people to pursue their own creative interests outside of day to day work. I have a happier, more fulfilled and better bunch for it.

On the second aspect: I’ve realised that using your powers for good doesn’t just mean making brilliant ads for social purposes – though I’ve had some great chances to do that this year via The Green Party and the RHS (making more of the world a bit greener). I also mean in a more everyday sense; by caring hard about making the work brilliant so the world gets to see something 100% not 50%, by being aware of the powerful voice we have in the world to make sure from script to casting it represents actual people, in the actual real world, not out-dated stereotypes - and by raising that voice in every review. Oh and, by just doing my best to be an all round pleasant person to work with. That helps.

Ultimately, I want to leave the industry a better place than I found it. Which is handily, one of Creature’s main appraisal objectives. So, here’s hoping that one of those 8-year-olds that might otherwise have drifted off into banking is applying for this award in 20 years time, in an industry that is thriving with people doing ‘good stuff’.

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Our creative start-up PUNK was born 19 months ago, from a desire to do things differently and re-invigorate the Scottish advertising scene. Myself and Creative Partner Paul Mason wanted to offer an alternative (and independent) agency choice to Scottish clients. A place where commercial creativity is front and centre. We'd witnessed the race to digital supremacy, and the way (we think) creativity and craft have suffered as a result. We set out to fly the flag once again for great creative. We are media agnostic, and work with a range of expert partners to deliver campaigns in whatever way is best to challenge the task at hand. This has ranged from traditional broadcast and print to an exhibition in an old swimming pool, to the the development of bespoke 'talking' mirrors to innovative augmented reality work.

We have both had to quickly grow our skillsets and resilience. For me the challenges of doing everything from traditional client service, business strategy, accountancy, legal compliance and HR to delivering award winning campaigns have been a huge learning curve. However, it has delivered results, in spades... Since our inception PUNK has become a thriving creative business, awarded the Marketing Society Scotland SME Agency of the Year 2017, 2 Roses Awards (Gold & Bronze), a Marketing Society Silver Star award and a PCRA Award. We are also proud to be the only agency out-with London to be selected to take part in the IPA Accelerator program. And most recently we 'doubled' in size, in turnover, staff numbers and premises.

I have also been keen to do all of this whilst balancing family life. Thus I work flexibly, which has been challenging as a two person start-up. However, we have proven that a successful business can be built, true to our values and mission, in a challenging market, with no outside investment.

Personally, I have been very proud to have been nominated for a Scottish Women's Award for my contribution to the Scottish Creative Industries, and to have a 'Letter to my Younger Self' featured by The Guardian, highlighting the challenges and learnings I have gained during my career.

In amongst all of that we've also been keen to support and nurture future talent, and have worked closely with Napier and Glasgow Caledonian Universities on 3 live projects which have resulted in at least 2 campaigns for clients being adopted as well as paid placements for creative teams with the agency.

I'm really not sure I'm a Woman of Tomorrow, rather I'm a woman like us all, trying to find balance in the world today. I want to show others that it is possible to lead an agency, work flexibly, have a family and do work to be proud of. It's not easy. But it's been hugely rewarding.

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As a New Business expert with 10 years’ experience in marketing and successful track record of driving business growth, I’ve never stopped learning and am eager to continue developing in our industry.

At Karmarama, I help keep the agency at the top of Campaign's New Business League, with high-profile pitch wins for the likes of Halfords, and Mondelez. These contributed to 2017 being our best year ever for new business performance. Now owned by Accenture Interactive, I’m thrilled to be part of the agency that has “begun the next chapter in adland’s story” (Campaign).

Heading up Karmarama’s CSR activity, KarmaKind, I helped appoint our charity of the year helping raise over £5k for Shelter from the Storm, and was incredibly proud to be voted Employee of the Year. This all contributes to Karmarama’s vibrant culture, and being named the highest ranked agency in the Sunday Time Best Companies for the last 3 years. Outside of work, I walk dogs for the elderly with The Cinnamon Trust, and even though the uniform clashes with my hair, I’m also a fully qualified St John’s Ambulance First Aider.

It’s undeniable that our industry has always been a tough place to work as a woman, so it’s a good thing that the reasons why are being addressed. Finding your own role models and nurturing and advocating for those around you is fundamental to driving that sea change we all need.

I am part of a new team at Karmarama working purposefully towards achieving parity across the business, to support and encourage female talent at Karmarama, and sharing the invaluable content I learned on the hugely inspirational Magpie Marketing Leadership Programme.

After 4 years on the IPA 44 Club Group organising inspiring events for those starting out in the industry and championing female spokespeople, I am delighted to now be part of the IPA New Business & Marketing Group, helping to drive best practice in the profession.

As a WACL Future Leaders award winner, I was given the opportunity to study coding, data and tech at Decoded with the funding – giving me the confidence to help shape Karmarama’s data offer to take to market. Realising the potential in the award's alumni, I went on to co-found FUTURES, a network for past and present winners in partnership with WACL and NABS. FUTURES allows this network of likeminded-women to support and champion each other, and benefit from inspiring events throughout the year.

I ranked 8th in the London Women’s Racing 2017 Time Trial League for Islington Cycle Club and can’t wait to improve that position this year! The gender parity in cycling still lags far behind other sports, so I’m on a mission to get more women cycling - part of which has been to set up Karmarama's Velorama Cycling Club running rides for staff and clients.

"Laura is very rare and very special, someone who makes a real difference to her team, to Karmarama and to the wider world. As a hard-working and highly effective new business director, she's smart, committed and gets results. As a colleague she's kind, generous and a real team player. She's fearless, open and always learning. She's definitely a woman of tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow too.” Liz Wilson, COO, Karmarama

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Marianne is a driven leader, committed to making improvements to the world around her both privately and professionally. She is an important voice for disability equality within the creative industry.

Despite only having worked full time in creative agencies for the past 6 years, Marianne has been quickly promoted through the ranks at several design agencies. Her swift ascension to senior positions reflects her ambition, capability and dedication.

Marianne is now a Senior Consultant at Interbrand, but having not only found success in her branding career, Marianne has also found a way of marrying this expertise up with her passion for disability inclusion.

Marianne decided she was fed up with the half-hearted effort made by brands to represent and provide for disabled people, so she set out to make a difference, for those considered ‘different’. In 2016, she founded Think Designable, a thought leadership collective dedicated to evangelising the benefits of inclusion through mainstream design.

Think Designable is comprised of like-minded creatives from London’s agency world. Through open conversation with brands and businesses, the aim is to encourage them to make inclusive products and services central to their business, as opposed to an afterthought. The initiative has garnered support from some of the most influential and innovate organisations in Britain including the BBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Channel 4, Scope and BT as well as The Office for Disability Issues, Business Disability International and other global inclusion specialists.

In 2017, Think Designable forged partnership with the Festival of Marketing to reward and celebrate inclusive brands. Marianne facilitated the first disability panel at the festival as well as instigating and presenting the first ever Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award at the Masters of Marketing Awards.

Other current priorities include preparation for the next event, Designable 2018 which is being supported by The Minister for Disabilities. Marianne is also heading up their first brand research paper focussed on amplifying the needs of disabled consumers, as well as campaigning for a change in the way image libraries represent disabled people.

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In 2012 I had worked in 3 other agencies and had had my fill.

As a consumer I felt overwhelmed; as a professional I felt jaded by buzz phrases and a lack of reality.

I didn’t want to participate in marketing anymore - I wanted to change it.

So when I was 29 I started my own research agency called The Mix.

I founded The Mix with a clear purpose of making human behaviour fascinating. Our ambition is to wrestle marketing out of its complacency and instill a human-centric approach to research so that, ultimately, we can sell more stuff.

Research is expensive and often boring. It’s little wonder people in marketing are at best listening to what they want to hear or at worst failing to grasp what people outside of a London focus group think about the world.

In the last 5 years I have strived to influence, surprise, persuade and blow some minds where necessary in order to over turn some of the biggest misconceptions about what people say and what they really do, using behavioural economics and technology to help us record the information.

Initially rejection was commonplace. Our technology centric approach was deemed scary – but I was determined to succeed.

Today companies approach us. I now employ 14 people, we turn over £1.8million and our clients are Nestlé, Diageo and Heineken. In 2016 we won the Nestlé marketing innovative agency of the year award, competing against JWT and McCann not bad for a little research agency. 2017/18 will be our highest turnover in our history and this year alone we acquired Disney, Pepsi, and Danone.

In 2017 I won a place on The Marketing Academy scholarship programme, designed to seek out leaders of the future.

My role as founder is about broadcasting our message far and wide, challenging preconceptions and exciting marketers with the prospect of thinking in a new way. I talk at events monthly, including Marketing Week Live, Integrated Live, Ad:Tech, General Assembly and Food Matters. Alongside this I also write a column for The Huffington Post, The Drum and new for 2018 The Dieline.

Inside our agency, we approach our culture in the same way we treat consumers – as real human beings. We believe that life shouldn’t come after work, so we work to a 4 day week pattern, allowing Fridays for personal days for training, mentoring and life stuff, laundry, exercise, family - things that matter.

At every step of the growth of The Mix, we’ve taken decisions that aren’t driven just by profits, but by pursuing excellent work, done by a bunch of people who believe in what they do, that aren’t jaded by emails and who feel rewarded for their efforts.

As a leader of this young business, I don’t always get it right, but I do pride myself on doing business in a way that puts people firmly at the centre of what we do, whether that be clients, consumers or staff.

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I was a finalist for Women of Tomorrow in 2013.

A LOT has changed since then.

Back then I was a creative director (CD) on Nivea, having played an integral role in winning the $1.4b global pitch. I hadn’t realized it yet but my career had hit a cul-de-sac and, on account of being female and now a ‘beauty’ CD, I was suddenly only offered jobs in that realm.

From starting my career at the ground-breaking agency HHCL, to writing and directing ads and short films, beauty had never been my ‘thing’. Suddenly the advertising industry had decided it was.

Fast forward two years and I’m CD on another beauty brand, promised they ‘want to do something different.’

They didn’t.

But I certainly did.

Later, having agreed to give a talk about being a female creative director, I instead created an all-women exhibition, ‘There’s a Good Girl’. Twenty renowned female artists such as Alison Jackson, Sara Pope, Pam Glew, & Hattie Stewart exhibited. The press attention included a double page spread in The Independent, articles in industry press and interviews on BBC Radio. The message was clear: women are a powerful force of creativity.

The almost giddy reaction amongst my female peers to this array of female creative role models was telling: this was a sight that was (sadly) all too unfamiliar.

Around this time I went freelance and decided to action an idea I’d had for a while. I started 'Good Girls Eat Dinner'. The mission was, and still is, simple: provide kick-ass female role models – in a setting that doesn’t feel remotely like a conference. Four inspirational speakers share their stories and advice between the courses of a meal. Laura JB headlined the first GGED and it was a huge success. The positive feedback blew me away.

I’ve now been running ‘Good Girls Eat Dinner’ (as a non-profit, side project) for 2.5 years. An incredible range of women have spoken, including Freddie Harrel (fashion influencer), Cathy Newman (Ch4 News), Amanda Foster (Hollywood stuntwoman), and Grace Dent (food critic & journalist).

I love receiving emails from women who have been inspired to negotiate pay rises, ask for promotions, and in two cases, set up an agency and ‘never look back’.

I’m aware that it’s not just gender equality we lack. As a gay woman, diversity and inclusion for EVERYONE is important to me. After Brexit, I watched hate-crime rise in horror. I channeled my feelings into creating a new exhibition: ‘There’s a Good Immigrant’, celebrating the different perspectives and creativity that migrants bring. Artists included Bob & Roberta Smith, Inua Ellams and Ildiko Buckley. £2.5k was raised for the arts charity INIVA - developing artistic programmes to challenge conventional notions of difference.

As a freelance CD I was offered several jobs, finally accepting one recently where the ECD and CEO shared my own vision for diversity and inclusion. Shortly before this I was listed as one of Campaign and Creative Equals ‘30 Future Female Leaders’

Tomorrow, for me, is creating the work I’ve always known I’m capable of (I now lead pitches and CD two huge bits of business). Tomorrow is continuing to strive for - and action - equality. Tomorrow is making more diverse hires, continuing to run GGED, and continuing to mentor. Tomorrow actually starts today.

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Aged 15, I co-founded an arts education company for kids, co-writing and producing over 40 original musical shows all over the UK. Each show took a week from concept to stage. Such fast, collaborative creative thinking depended on fun, friendship, openness, empathy and much determination. This was the collaborative spirit with which I entered the ad industry.

But my early experiences in agencies frustrated me: why was creativity reserved for male-dominated creative departments? And why was there this odd separation between creative and strategy? I was, and am, determined to challenge this status quo, despite having been repeatedly told that I’ll fail.

During a month Planning internship at O&M I created a rebel three-way team with two creative interns. We all did both jobs. We became a pitch weapon. Six months on we were hired, but separated into departments.

Four years later I was promoted to Senior Planner, leading UK and global accounts. I also wrote proactive briefs for things I cared about, resulting in some of the agency’s most creatively awarded work, proving I could play a more hybrid role.

I moved to Now, with the irresistible challenge of an agency wanting to ramp up creativity. Here, I’m encouraged by our amazingly open partners to carve out a new strategic-creative role. I often work in a pair with our Creative Director, producing some of our best work: New York Bakery Co’s new brand campaign, and Explorify, a product to transform science teaching, for which I won 3 APG Creative Strategy Awards: 2 Golds and the Unconventional Thinking prize.

Our CSO, Kate Waters, says, ‘Amelia could genuinely redefine what agency leadership looks like. She has a natural creative flair and is an impressive lateral thinker, but what makes her brilliant is her determination and vision.’

I encourage a culture of open creativity. I set up Now After Hours, a yearly exhibition celebrating the creative things that anyone in the agency gets up to in their spare time. I work on briefs as a creative and tell others they should too. I co-wrote the script for our latest intu Christmas ad. I think up and execute proactive ideas to creatively solve clients’ problems. I mentor people who often wish they could do more of this kind of thing; I love supporting and pushing them to do so.

But my work ambitions are in service to a higher purpose that drives me. I want to make the world a bit better. In home life, I volunteer when I can. In 2016, I spent five weeks cooking in Syrian refugee camps around Greece, and collecting refugee poetry to curate a book. In London, I co-fundraised £30,000 in one night to bring arts into refugee camps in Lebanon.

I believe our industry has an amazing power to do good through strategic-creative problem solving and this is where I want to focus my efforts. Being a Woman of Tomorrow would create the opportunities, and build my confidence to do more of this valuable work.

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