The final phase to decide who will claim The Drum Woman of the Year award at the SheSays Awards, in partnership with Isobar and The Drum, is now underway.
Public and industry nominations have been whittled down by a panel of distinguished judges – including Laura Jordan Bambach, Emma Sexton and Rosie Bardales – into a final shortlist of 15.
It is now over to readers of The Drum to decide who has made the most outstanding contribution to the creative industries by casting their votes below.
Voting will remain open until 5pm on Friday 30 May.
Jane Asscher, founding partner – strategy and management, 23red
Asscher helped set up brand communications agency 23red in October 2000. She sits on various industry panels and has published many articles and thought pieces on CSR, women in business, and behaviour change.
Shirley Au, president and COO, Huge UK
Au was one of Huge’s first employees in a small design studio in Brooklyn. A decade later, she runs a 750 person-strong global agency across eight offices. Women make up 50 per cent of leadership and run half of all offices at Huge. In late 2012 – in recognition of the opportunity for digital growth in Europe – Au moved her husband and newborn son to London. And a year later she was named one of Adweek’s Young Influentials – 20 media, marketing and tech superstars Under 40 – alongside Lena Dunham and Nate Silver. One nomination claimed that Au “rarely considers her gender or anyone’s gender and considers every situation on its own merits. It’s a privilege to have someone like Shirley in the London community.”
Ghislaine Boddington, creative director, BDS Creative
Boddington is an artist researcher, dramaturge, curator and thought leader specialising in body responsive technologies. A long term advocate of women in tech and creative careers, in 2013 she curated Women Shift Digital Conference.
Courtney Boyd Myers, founder, audience.io
Boyd Myers was described by a nominator as "a connector and catalyst in both the London and New York City start-up scene". She is the founder of audience.io, a transatlantic company that helps start-ups grow. She is also a writer of two popular newsletters and teaches frequently.
Fran Brosan, chairman and co-founder, Omobono
Before starting Omobono at her kitchen table with co-founders Ben Dansie and Chris Butterworth in 2001, Brosan spent seven years as managing director at Warman & Bannister Cambridge, building the business and gaining its recognition by PR Week as the fastest growing agency over five years in 2000. Her career includes eight years at WCRS, where she progressed from account executive to board account director and worked with clients such as BMW, Laura Ashley and Prudential.Brosan is a regular speaker at industry events and is author of Omobono’s research programme ‘What Works Where in B2B Digital Marketing’. She has won three IPA Advertising Effectiveness Awards.
Meaghan Fitzgerald, CMO and COO, 23 Snaps
Fitzgerald’s work in digital and mobile has seen her grow British startup 23snaps, alongside her efforts to inspire more women to get involved in STEM careers as a Mobile Academy tutor and Nokia Remarkable Woman.
Malin Hanås, creative director, Razorfish
Swedish-born Hanås joined Razorfish in spring of 2012 and quickly made her mark contributing to multiple award-winning campaigns.In 2012 Hanås was selected as a ‘Woman of Tomorrow’ in the IPA and Campaign sponsored search for 10 future female leaders in advertising. Personally committed to mentoring, Hanås runs the creative intern process at Razorfish, regularly returns to her alma mater Hyper Island to deliver talks and lectures and volunteers with SheSays as a speaker and judge.
Camilla Harrison, CEO, M&C Saatchi
Having started out in PR, Harrison settled on a career in advertising in 1994 when she joined WCRS. In the seven years she spent there, and in her subsequent stints at Wieden + Kennedy and Leo Burnett, she took on new business, marketing and management roles. In 2005 she joined M&C Saatchi – initially as marketing director – becoming COO of the M&C Saatchi Group five years later. In September 2013 she was promoted again, taking over the reins as CEO of the ad agency. Camilla is an active member of WACL (Women in Advertising & Communications London), having been on the executive committee for seven years and president of the club during 2012-13.
Debra Hepburn, managing director, RBH
Hepburn is described by her colleagues as the "driving force" behind RBH."She has a keen eye for the very best in creative and communications talent," they add.Hepburn has seen RBH unveil major new retail and shopping centres with award-winning creative. She also helped to mastermind the transformation of a lingerie brand into a fashion leader, with Freya Lingerie becoming an official ‘CoolBrand’.The RBH MD also created a online fashion brand Young British Designers (YBD). Three years on her entrepreneurial spirit and determination to nurture amazing creativity has made YBD a global e-commerce destinations for the UK’s emerging fashion talent.
Jenny Kitchen, managing director, Yoyo Design
In less than a year, Kitchen has become MD of Yoyo Design, has been voted one of The Drum's 30 under 30 women in digital 2013, appeared in the Bima Hot 100 and taken Yoyo Design to fourth position in The Drum's Independent Agencies Census elite poll for agencies with under 25 staff.
Debbie Klein, UK chief executive, Engine
Running the UK’s largest independent communications company, Klein is a respected agency leader, whose passion for putting creativity at the heart of everything Engine does has helped the group enjoy its most successful and creative year to date.
Natalie Lloyd, digital business consultant, If Not Now
One nomination reports that “Natalie Lloyd is a force to be reckoned with.” Lloyd is director of digital consultancy at If Not Now and sits on the board for Fathom and Say Digital. She's also international editor for Applejuice and WINK and producer/curator for TEDx Brighton.
Melanie Lynch, freelance creative, The Gallmann Memorial Foundation
As a creative intern at BBH London, Lynch wrote the multi-award winning ‘Life Story’ spot for Barnardo’s. The advert won a D&AD yellow pencil at Cannes, and according to one nomination, resulted in a £2m increase in donations and a 50 per cent rise in volunteering applications. Lynch has now adopted the life of a freeranger, balancing freelance stints for her favourite agencies with projects she really believes in; working directly with charities and NGOs to devise creative solutions to big problems.
Elspeth Lynn, ECD, M&C Saatchi Group
According to one nomination, “Elspeth’s uncanny ability to spot standout creative talent, and work with that talent to craft exceptional campaigns, is unparalleled”. A frequent face on awards panels, Lynn has judged at event including Cannes, D&AD, and The One Show, and chaired the Marketing Awards in Canada. As former art director at DDB, MCCann, Lowe Roche and Leo Burnett, Lynn combined her industry experience and creative prowess to found Zig, winning a roster of high profile businesses including Unilever, Virgin Mobile and Ikea. She expanded the award-winning agency of the year to Chicago in 2005 and sold to MDC, and Crispin Porter Bogusky. In the UK Elspeth worked as ECD at digital agency Profero, where she won a string of awards including AdAge ‘Top 10 agencies to watch’, BIMA ‘Agency of the Year 2011’ and a Creative Showcase Awards Grand Prix.
Fiona Ridgway, managing director, R1 Digital Media
Ridgway has looked after the digital strategy for all of the accounts at R1 Digital Media over the last year. One nomination claims that “through her hard work and results driven approach, her clients are seeing massive ROI and higher more meaningful engagement from their customers.”