Women in Advertising & Communications London (WACL) last night announced the winners of its 14th annual Future Leaders Awards Programme. The class of 2019 will see 39 women awarded bursaries to pursue further training and education to help them achieve their career goals and fulfil their potential.
Started by WACL member Tess Alps in 2005, the Future Leaders programme is designed to reward talented and inspirational women with a vision for what they want to achieve. In the last 14 years it has awarded 184 women the bursary.
“Winning the WACL Future Leaders Award was an incredibly humbling experience, which launched a turning point in my career and in my life. In addition to the bursary, it raised my profile, invited speaking opportunities and, above all, granted me access to a community of bold, brilliant and inspiring women,” said Priya Datta, senior support advisor for NABS and former FLA winner. “Within two years, this has supported me to forge a new career path: one that is in alignment with my values, and through which I intend to pay forward all that the award has given me.”
“Winning the WACL Future Leaders Award bursary was only one part of the prize. The Futures Network alumni community that I’m now part of has helped me to find my tribe. The ongoing support this peer network provides as we progress through our careers continues to be absolutely invaluable.” Laura Vipond, co-founder of the Futures Network and group new business director at Karmarama.
This year the FLA committee, chaired by Victoria Fox, CEO of the AAR, included Claire Hilton, managing director at Barclays; Kate Waters, director of client strategy and planning at ITV and Sarah Ellis managing director at Gravity Road. The committee shortlisted 65 women for face-to-face interviews from more than 250 applications to decide bursary winners.
“The Future Leaders Award is one of the most fulfilling things we do as members of WACL. Every year we get to meet incredibly talented and inspirational women on their way to making a difference in their organisations and careers. This year was no different. The calibre and number of women applying makes the competition very high,” said Victoria Fox.
Fox continued: “In 2019 the overriding theme of submissions was around realising real change. All candidates demonstrated improved confidence with one candidate cleverly articulating this as ‘if 2018 was the year of women finding their voices, 2019 is the year of pragmatic action.’ We are extremely excited to see the change this cohort will bring.”
Every year WACL awards one or two exceptional winners with the Patricia Mann Award. Patricia Mann OBE died in 2006 following a 47-year career at J Walter Thompson where she went out of her way to pave the way for other women across the industry. Her bravery and resilience were exceptional and at a time where few role models or mentors existed for women, she made it her mission to change this and opened doors in advertising and communications for us all to walk through.
The Patricia Mann award recognises those future leader award winners who continue to embody the spirit of Patricia today. Women who are championing and challenging change, going out of their way to support other women and who are making a positive impact on the marketing and advertising industry.
This year our Patricia Mann winners are Renee Vaughan Sutherland, creative director at Hub Productions and Jackie Scully, deputy managing director of Think. Both women have shown such resilience and strength in their careers and lives. The whole award committee were so impressed with their entries and feel they are incredibly worthy winners of this award as they fully embody Patricia Mann’s spirit, looking to pave the way for other women to achieve in this industry.*
Victoria Fox added “All the candidates were outstanding but what we look for in our Patricia Mann winners are pioneers who are going to have the greatest impact on changing our industry and helping to drive gender equality through their active endeavours. They embody the spirit of the late Patricia Mann who opened doors for women to walk through at a time when there weren't that many female role models and mentors. We chose both Jackie and Renee because they had incredible stories and out of the challenges they have faced they are determined to drive change and positivity for others. They are the very definition of role models.”