IAPI announces that the winners of this year’s IAPI Female Futures Fund Coaching Bursary, generously sponsored by Diageo, are Ciara Markey, business director at Mediaworks, part of Core, and Eimear Fitzmaurice, strategic planning director at JWT Folk. They each receive a €5,000 bursary for six sessions between June and December 2020 with Dr Jill Walker, the renowned executive psychologist and transformative executive coach.
CEO of IAPI Charley Stoney says: “There are several reasons why our two winners are such stand-outs. They are passionate about the industry, display a keen emotional intelligence and have the self-awareness to identify just how the prize could power their career forward, helping them become leaders of the future both within their agencies and the industry in general. These are two talents to watch out for in the coming years.”
The IAPI Female Futures Fund Coaching Bursary initiative is designed to help achieve improved gender balance in leadership roles in the advertising, media and communications industry. The 2019 IAPI Census Report showed that 38% of executive roles are now taken by females – an improvement on previous years and proof that the issue is being addressed. Coaching is viewed as being especially empowering for women, particularly in male dominated roles where confidence seems to be a key barrier to career progression.
Sponsor Gráinne Wafer, Global Brand Director for Guinness at Diageo says: “The judging panel was very impressed with the quality of all the nominations received. In particular, the six shortlisted nominees who presented to us this week via video call. Throughout the process we heard from high potential women who are looking for the tools, provocations and support to achieve their ambition for themselves and the industry – this bursary will help with that, but there is also an industry wide opportunity for all leaders to coach, mentor and unlock this great talent for the future.”
Obsessed with culture, Eimear Fitzmaurice thrives on understanding what’s really going on and identifying the tension points from which brands can react and add real value in consumer’s lives. She has worked across many categories and global markets and is passionate about creating collaborative environments in which clients and agencies can solve problems together. Where there’s growth, Fitzmaurice prides herself on finding it. She is a rigorous planner, seeking compelling and creative ways to present new thinking that shape brand communications. Clients past and present include An Post, Vodafone, Brennans, Heineken Ireland and Heineken Global, William Grant & Sons, Unilever, Circle K and Bank of Ireland.
Commenting on her win, Eimear said: “I am so thrilled and excited for this amazing opportunity. Going through the Female Future Fund process was a great opportunity to pause and reflect on where I am in my career and ask what it is that I need to progress, something that in truth, I believe us females could do more of. I am so delighted to now have guidance and support from Jill Walker to help me navigate what’s next!”
In addition, Ciara Markey graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2011 with Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies and Political Science. From there, she started her advertising career over in New York working for Hill Holliday as an Account Management Intern on the Sponsorship Team looking after Verizon’s NFL and NLB partnerships. Ciara then returned home to Dublin in Oct 2011 where she started working with MediaCom as an account executive and later an Account Manager working on clients such as Sky, Audi and Universal. Ciara then moved to Mediaworks in Dec 2014 and has progressed in-career to recently becoming a Business Director in February 2020. In her time in Mediaworks she has worked across a diverse range of clients including McDonald’s, Irish Life, Johnston Mooney & O’Brien and Citroen.
Commenting on her win, Ciara said: “This opportunity will be invaluable to my career and future progression. Once I saw IAPI was launching this bursary earlier this year, I was immediately intrigued by it and energised that a future female fund was now available in our industry. I am hugely grateful to Paul Moran for nominating me for this great opportunity and to IAPI and the judging panel for selecting me for this wonderful bursary. I am an advocate of coaching, and I know first-hand how powerful great coaching can be. I am really excited to start this coaching with Jill Walker. I want to use this time to better understand what drives me and to create a path that will help me reach my full potential and become the future leader I want to be.”
In addition to Ciara Markey and Eimear Fitzmaurice, the shortlisted nominees were Claire O’Brien, digital performance director at Omnicom Media Group; Eimear O’Sullivan, head of design at The Public House; Jane Gray, head of business development at Verve and Maebh Connellan, group strategy director at Dentsu Aegis.
The IAPI Female Futures Fund Coaching Bursary judging panel included Dr Jill Walker, executive coach; Charley Stoney, CEO of IAPI; Charlotte Barker, IAPI board member and chair of diversity & inclusion council; Gráinne Wafer, global brand director for Guinness at Diageo and Mark Doyle, CMO, AIB.
Gráinne Wafer is also joint lead of Diageo’s progressive gender portrayal programme globally and is the Diageo representative for the UNstereotype Alliance, a UN and industry wide platform which seeks to eradicate harmful gender-based stereotypes in advertising.