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30 Under 30

Heroines of HTML: The Drum's 50 under 30 women in digital voting


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

July 14, 2014 | 19 min read

The Drum highlights 50 of the leading women working in the UK digital industry today.

The Drum has long been a supporter of women in the digital industries, and when we asked you to nominate the top women under 30 in the sector, you came forward in your droves to show us how many amazing and inspiring women there are in the industry.

We received hundreds of nominations for our list, which looks to celebrate the best and brightest who have managed to achieve great things in the early years of their career.

It was incredibly hard to narrow down the list of nominees to just 50, but this was done based on number of nominations and the strength of testimonials.

Below are the 50 shortlisted, but now the tough choice is up to you as to who should make it to the top of the list.

You have until Monday 21 July to get your votes in.

The order - and interviews - will then be revealed in The Drum's print magazine on 20 August.

Jody Shilliday

Spearheading mobile agency Fetch’s next phase in the programmatic buying and social arena is Jody’s job as head of paid social.

Sitting on the IAB social media council and a mentor for the IPA Creative Pioneers Apprenticeship Programme, Jody moved into the sector having previously focused on display and affiliates.

Shannon Haigh

As head of PR for 10 Yetis, Shannon Haigh has worked on campaigns that have spanned public relations, video, SEO and social media including Water Aid, and Just-Eat.

Aged 23, she is second in command at the PR agency and one of her campaigns has won an industry gold award.

Emily Gibbs

Head of internal communication at the Financial Times, Emily helps support the publisher’s plans to become a primarily digital proposition.

In 2012 she masterminded and ran the company’s first global Digital Learning Week, an employee engagement initiative that informs, inspires and educates staff about the digital age.

Aresha Krishnan

Regional social media director for Samsung’s social media council at Cheil, Aresha was described as a “rising star” in her nomination.

Her best influenced co-created video for Marmite has attracted over 10m organic views to date, and once ended up on a Channel 4 documentary for hacking Foursquare.

Jo-ann Fortune

A creative planner at iCrossing, Jo-ann has been described as the “driving creative force” behind some of the agency’s campaigns.

In her six years at the agency, she has helped develop video interviews with Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki for VisitBrighton and a Google+ Hangout with Orla Kiely for Uniqlo.

Joanna Halstead

Digital marketing manager at Arcadia, it was Joanna’s work at the Digital Women’s Advertising network (DAWN) that led to her nomination.

Prior to joining Arcadia in 2013, Joanna was a senior planner at Poke for two years, and before this, she was a digital manager at the Starcom Mediavest Group.

Sharan Cheema

Sharan Cheema, client services director at Navigate Digital, was nominated for her passion.

Having been promoted to her current role from account director six months ago, Sharan oversees work for a number of the agencies key clients and is responsible for exploring opportunities across new technologies and emerging platforms.

Elodie Soetaert

Social media manager at Manning Gottlieb OMD, Elodie Soetaert has won awards for her work with Specsavers.

With a desire to move from social only executions to a wider media context, Elodie has also managed an always-on blogger program to tell the story of Virgin Media and support positive online chatter.

Irina Kondrashova

Strategy director at 360i, Irina works on accounts for Fisher-Price, Oreo, Fanta and Clinique.

She leads creative ideation and strategy for mobile applications and website developments, overseeing execution, promotion and product optimisation.

Irina has also written two white papers – The Hispanic Influencer, and Twitter UK v US.

Becky Messere

Becky joined Apple as business development manager this year from Mindshare. During her six years at Mindshare, where her most recent role was digital content planner, Becky worked on clients such as Lynx, for whom she planned the digital and mobile activity.

She was the youngest member on the Future Leader’s Programme, which provided training and board-level mentoring.

Lauren Dowding

A digital strategist at e3, Lauren Dowding has spearheaded a new approach within the agency to optimise its client’s digital marketing activity.

Described as a “digital native”, it was her process that helped the Royal Navy increase its recruitment rates via digital channels.

Jo Kerr

Head of digital communications at Girlguiding, Jo created Team Digital for the brand as well as a blog to share updates.

A RSA fellow and recently appointed as the society’s digital champion, Jo also mentors other women working in the digital charity space, as well as holding user experience workshops.

Helen Whattler

Working at Somo as a mobile designer, Helen has designed a number of award-winning apps for clients such as Audi, Domino’s and Nationwide.

Having worked as a user interface designer at Somo for over three and a half years, Helen was described as "an invaluable part of the team" in her nomination.

Naddy Onions

Digital director at Haslimann Taylor PR, Naddy Onions has delivered a six-fold increase in digital income in the past year.

Her aim for the agency is to not only create and deliver campaigns that amuse and engage the customers, but deliver true value to the client’s business.

Holly Williams

Creative director and partner at Occupi Digital, which she set up, Holly Williams works with top drinks clients such as Jameson, Laphroaig and Courvoisier.

Holly also co-founded a start-up last year, which has been recognised by Google as one of its 'rising stars'.

Lucy Scanlon

Business director at Performics, Lucy handles SEO and previously worked on the Reckitt Benckiser account and now works on 3M.

In her current role, she looks to enable the introduction of global SEO best practices to the agency’s international clients.

Prior to Performics, Lucy worked in business development at Quad London.

Rebecca Martin

Rebecca Martin is head copywriter at mobile-first creative agency Apppli. She has helped with the launching and re-branding of several successful technology startups in the digital space.

Having worked at Apppli for four years, she has previously held roles at Earthtone and Direct Planning.

Samantha Wade

Head of digital investment at Maxus UK, Sam looks to ensure the best in market rates for clients.

She has helped to win clients such as Barclays and L’Oreal, and has been selected by the Maxus global team to represent the UK as part of a group of trading leads across EMEA.

Carly Donovan

As senior consultant at Deloitte Digital, Carly leads the healthcare and life sciences digital offering.

Described internally as one of Deloitte’s “best young people” since joining a year ago, Carly has encouraged the company to recruit from new industries, and has mentored junior team members.

Tiffany Maddox

The ‘word bird’ at Rubber Republic, Tiffany Maddox has had a hand in projects such as the 'Bodyform Responds: The Truth’ video.

Described as having an ‘intuitive understanding of what makes content shareable’, Tiffany appreciates the need to plan content activation.

Anna Jehan

A “dangerously talented” art director at SapientNitro, Anna was previously digital director at the same company before her promotion.

She has worked for brands such as M&S and Rayban while at Sapient, and her M&S work website design was nominated for 3 Cyber Lions at the 2014 Cannes Lions, but did not win.

Emily Lydford

Emily Lydford, digital account manager at Manning Gottlieb OMD, manages a team across three entertainment accounts, and has been praised for going ‘that fabled extra mile’.

She was part of the team which launched Seymour Brew in 2013, the first beer to be branded and sold by a UK media agency.

Harriet Lowson

As creative strategist and planner at DigitasLBi, Harriet has worked across a range of client projects, covering branded content, social media, platform builds and influencer engagement.

Currently working within MRY at DigitasLBi, Harriet spent the first four months of 2014 within a dedicated innovation team.

Emily Barnard

Emily is biddable account director at Maxus as of April, having been promoted from search and biddable account manager.

She works on the Barclays Wealth and Corporate Banking account, and develops “fantastic junior team members under her with her dedicated work ethic”, according to her nomination.

Sabah Choudhry

As director of international sales at TubeMogul, Sabah has been described as “an integral part” of the online video branding company’s global sales operation.

Prior to TubeMogul, Sabah worked at Starcom Mediavest, where she helped the planning and buying for online campaigns for Ericsson, BBC World, Pizza Hut and more.

Jessica Elgot

Described as an "essential cog in a newsroom", Jessica is The Huffington Post UK’s assistant news editor and often edits the homepage of the website.

Thinking about ways to engage audiences and start conversations about what users want to share is a major part of her job.

Eleanor Wheeler

Senior online marketing executive at, Eleanor Wheeler was nominated for the “boundless enthusiasm for the brand she promotes”.

Prior to working at, Eleanor was at Universal McCann, having been promoted from digital media executive to senior digital media executive in less than two years.

Kat Hannaford

Kat Hannaford is senior editor at Gizmodo UK, and after pitching the idea to Future of licencing Gizmodo.

She developed native partnerships with brands such as EE, Microsoft, Samsung and Tesco.

Prior to March 2014, Kat was Gizmodo UK editor, having been the first UK contributing writer for the site.

Katie Peate

On the Manchester board of directors at Reading Room, where she holds the role of project director, Katie is described as being ‘instrumental’ in helping the agency.

Having worked at the agency for two years, Katie helps refine digital processes and train digital consultants.

Lucy Divall

Digital planning director at the ROI agency at ZenithOptimedia, having moved from the role of client planning director in May, Lucy has helped grow the digital footprint of Comparethemarket.

Having stated at the agency as a graduate, Lucy is described as “unflappable and driven”.

Caroline Pomfret

A digital project manager at Stein IAS, Caroline Pomfret works to match digital strategy to a client’s goals to deliver proven ROI.

She has made complex digital communications easy for clients to grasp, empowering them to embrace modern marketing, and helping the agency to retain its clients.

Rebecca Weeks

Having being promoted from account director to group SEO director at Manning Gottlieb OMD over the space of a year, Rebecca now leads a team of 14.

She is responsible for driving forward MGOMD’s strategic thinking and offering for clients, such as TSB.

Toni Cowan-Brown

Deputy EMEA digital practice chair at Burson-Marsteller, Toni helps expand the PR agency’s global digital training programme to improve colleague’s skills.

She is the digital lead for multi-country clients such as hotel brand Carlson Rezidor, and was praised in her testimonial as a “tireless advocate” of integrated campaigns rather than siloing digital.

Sabrina Douglas

Senior strategist at M&C Saatchi, Sabrina works on accounts such as RBS/Natwest and Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

Sabrina has held her current role for two years, heaving previously held the same position at Profero, where she won awards for her work on M&S’s digital strategy and Mini.

Brittany Child

Brittany Child is a digital account manager at e3 who has been described in nominations as “an extremely valuable asset to the team”.

She played a strong role in the ‘50 things to before you are 11 ¾’ campaign for the National Trust, which includes a website and gamification.

Sarah Weller

Managing director for Mubaloo in London, Sarah looks to drive forward business development, client relations, thought leadership and partnerships.

Following Mubaloo’s partnership with EE, Sarah has frequently presented on the impact apps can have on businesses at a number of EE’s business events.

Sheema Siddiqi

Sheema is digital manager for One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer, Olly Murs and Little Mix at Modest Management.

She is responsible for managing artists' web presence across social media, official sites and mobile, and her nomination praises her with achieving the company’s most successful international engagement campaign to date.

Amelia Humfress

Amelia is co-founder of Steer, a coding school awarded the title of one of the best places to code in 2014 by the Observer, which offers courses in web design, HTML, CSS, iOS coding, Rails and jQuery.

Prior to launching the coding school, she worked at Jimmy Choo, where she “caught the technology bug”.

Rebecca Burchnall

Working as head of social at PHD Media, Rebecca looks to drive thought-leadership in social as well as integration with the wider digital and communications mix.

Sitting on the agency’s digital strategy team, Rebecca has worked with clients such as Mondelez, the Guardian and Macmillan to develop digital.

Gabrielle Golding

A senior account manager at digital agency Zone, Gabrielle Golding is responsible for Coca-Cola GB’s digital brand activation work.

Her work has seen her deliver a ‘Changing Rooms’ style app for Reckitt Benckiser’s Airwick which delivered 215 per cent over target.

Tilly Bull

Group digital manager at Hearst Magazines UK, Tilly is responsible for Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire and Town & Country, having launched Esquire Weekly commercially

Leading the digital sales effort for the Harper’s Bazaar digital re-design she has secured Louis Vuitton as a partner of for the first time with a fireplace format campaign.

Jess Morgan

Jess Morgan, a digital project manager at clevercherry, has worked with clients including 3M, Vauxhall, Cameron Homes, Ocean Media and Cure Leukaemia.

Praised for her “can-do attitude and a reputation for superb excellence for detail”, Jess handles around 20 projects at a time.

Klara Krok

Strategic planner at Joule, Klara Krok has just returned to the UK from two months in Singapore where she was tasked with embedding mobile thinking into a client’s regional office with just three weeks’ notice.

Klara was awarded Yahoo's Young Media Star competition in Cannes last year.

Lyndsi Plummer

Lyndsi Plummer, product manager at Rocket Fuel, manages product development needs and requirements for Europe.

Prior to joining Rocket Fuel, Lyndsi worked at Sky, where she rolled out RTB capabilities across all of Sky's display media properties both from a strategic and technical standpoint.

Mihaela Radu

A developer at e3, Mihaela Radu has a focus on coding and has gained accreditation as a Microsoft certified technology specialist.

Having worked across a variety of clients, Mihaela is committed to continuing to improve her skills as a web developer and pursue a more senior position in the Tech team.

Chanade Murphy

Chanade Murphy, head of client solutions at One Result, has helped create the branding and responsive websites for several companies, including Sky, Carling, New Balance and Under Armour, and also works on mobile.

Chanade was nominated by a client who praised her “true professionalism and genuine enthusiasm”.

Victoria Rowlands

Working at AOL Advertising, Victoria Rowlands was praised for her ability to put herself in the client's shoes and pull together packages that meet their individual objectives.

Having worked with agencies such as MEC, Maxus and Rapp during at her time at AOL, Victoria is described as a “digital saavy, creative thinker and leader”.

Christine Dobbin

Christine Dobbin, senior digital executive at Ketchum UK, has worked across clients such as Philips Lighting and looks to make her clients’ social media communities and campaigns best in class.

Described by colleagues as “an integral comms linchpin for digital accounts”, she joined Ketchum from the James Maxwell Graduate Programme.

Nicola Carey

Head of strategy and planning at Jaywing, Nicola looks to develop effective brand and marketing strategies for clients.

Prior to joining Jaywing in 2014, Nicola worked at brand consultancy Sparkler as a senior consultant, where she helped brands such as Diageo, EE and Red Bull Media House.

Katie Allanson

Social community manager for Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube at Fresh One Productions for the past three months, Katie was previously social media producer and analyst at Seven.

At Seven, where she joined as a graduate, Katie was responsible for account managing brands such as Tetley, Jobsite, Sainsbury’s Bank and Schwartz.

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