The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

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By Justin Pearse, Managing Director, The Drum Works

June 10, 2015 | 3 min read

Manning Gottlieb OMD’s Gemma Howley has been announced as the winner of Google and The Drum’s Women in Search initiative.

Announced at last night’s inaugural Drum Search Awards, the honour is the culmination of a three-month hunt for the most creative and effective woman working in the UK search industry.

Howley, currently the youngest head of department at Manning Gottlieb OMD, received her award on stage from Matt Bush, Director of Performance, and Anne-Laure Le Cunff, Marketing Manager at Google. She joined Manning Gottlieb OMD in 2008, having begun her career in search in 2006, and appeared in The Drum’s 30 Under 30 list in 2013.

"The best thing about Women in Search has been meeting all the other finalists," said Howley. "We've already set up a community through it to champion women in the industry and encourage more women into search," said Howley.

The Drum partnered with Google to launch the Women in Search initiative to celebrate the role of women in an industry that is still largely male dominated. In addition to recognising the success of the individual women nominated, another aim of the initiative was to inspire other women to take up a career in search.

"We launched the Women in Search initiative back in March on Women’s International day, and have been blown away by the industry’s feedback,” said Bush. “Through Women in Search, we seek to highlight the incredible array of female talent currently working within the search industry. We hope for more diversity in the industry, and for more women to be aware of search marketing as a potential career path."

Women in Search was run through a public vote on The Drum, with the final winner decided by the judging panel of The Drum Search Awards. The public vote saw a huge response from across the marketing industry, with over 3,500 people voting for the women in search they believed had been most impactful.

"The positive feedback we received shows how much we, as an industry, deeply care about gender equality,” said Le Cunff. “We want Women in Search to become a community for like-minded marketers to connect, exchange, and learn from each other, and we hope this inaugural event is the first of many opportunities to do so."

The top ten Women in Search finalists are profiled at Google’s thought leadership portal Think with Google, revealing the secrets to their success and advice for women considering a career in search marketing.