Voting launches for The Drum's Woman of the Year category at the SheSays Awards

The Drum and SheSays are calling on the industry to vote for the individual to be named Woman of the Year at this year's SheSays Awards.

Voting is now underway to determine who will claim the title of The Drum Woman of the Year at the SheSays Awards to celebrate female creativity.

The Drum and SheSays joined forces to launch the awards, in partnership with Isobar, to highlight the contribution of women in the UK creative industries.

Last year's Woman of the Year title was awarded to Debbie Klein, chief executive of the Engine Group.

Industry nominations have been considered by a panel of judges – including Isobar's Nick Bailey; Laura Jordan Bambach of Mr President and Grey's Vicki Maguire – into a final shortlist of 10 individuals, listed below.

The Drum is now calling on readers to vote to decide who should be awarded the title at the SheSays Awards in November.

Voting will remain open until Friday 23 October.

Mel Exon, managing director, BBH London and co-founder, BBH Labs, Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Since taking up the role of managing director at BBH, Mel Exon has, according to one peer, been instrumental in engineering change in how the agency thinks and operates.

Exon, who joined BBH in 1997, is also the co-founder of BBH Labs, the agency's global innovation unit, responsible for pioneering new marketing models around technology and collaboration.

Hollie Newton Wilkes, executive creative director, Sunshine

Hollie Newton Wilkes joined Sunshine in July 2015 from Grey London, where she held the role of global creative director.

At Grey she led a creative turnaround for the agency's Swedish business, including the two-times Cannes Grand Prix winning Volvo ‘LifePaint’ project.

According to a colleague Newton Wilkes is an inspirational figure, possessing a "rare energy" to give her all.

Nina Taylor, creative director, Iris Worldwide

With a strong background in art direction that has included roles at Elvis and Euro RSCG, Nina Taylor is the only female creative director in London at the company. Her portfolio includes the agency's global work on Samsung.

According to a colleague, Taylor has championed the progression of women in the agency, resulting in more female creative teams and a female deputy creative director.

Jo Wallace, regional creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi

Currently creative director (EMEA) at Saatchi & Saatchi, London, Jo Wallace's career has included roles at agencies including Draftfcb and HHCL.

She recently wrote and directed an online film for the charity Kidscape to raise awareness around cyber bullying, and launched 'There's a Good Girl', an exhibition showcasing the work of 20 creative women making their mark on contemporary culture. Wallace also hosts a regular dinner event with four inspirational female speakers sharing their experiences between courses.

Jenna Alicia Yhearm, managing director, Gumption Agency

Jenna Yhearm started social media consultancy Gumption from her front room, growing to seven people within three years. A member of Business Against Poverty, she also sits on the board at YENA, the Young Entrepreneur Networking Association social enterprise.

A colleague described Yhearm as a “powerhouse” who is committed to educating clients and staff in the agency.

Anna Foster, data director, TMW Unlimited

Anna Foster heads up data at TMW Unlimited, managing a team of of 25 and working with clients including Unilever, Infiniti and Virgin Trains. She is also an active member of the agency's management board.

According to a colleague Foster is "an inspiration" to women in the agency, with highlights including her introduction of a mentoring scheme in her team ensure individuals have access to support and advice.

Nicky Bullard, executive creative director, Lida/M&C Saatchi

Nicky Bullard has spent the last 20 years writing across every discipline, and is now executive creative director at direct agency Lida. She has judged a number of awards including panels at Cannes, D&AD and The Drum Dream Awards.

According to a peer testimonial, Bullard is an "inclusive and empowering" individual who is highly respected and admired for her work and commitment to the industry.

Lisa Blythman-Wood, associate creative director, VML London

Associate creative director at VML London, Lisa Blythman-Wood has 20 years of experience working with leading brands to transform their communications.

She represents VML as part of WPP’s Z Academy and regularly participates in discussions about the industry and opportunities emerging from advancements in technology. She is also instrumental in implementing a culture of mentorship and diversity at the agency, including recently securing VML as one of the 12 WPP agencies selected to work with students on their portfolios and interviews.

Holly Brockwell, editor-in-chief, Gadgette

As editor-in-chief of Gadgette, the tech and lifestyle publication for women, Holly Brockwell has led the way in empowering women to be more comfortable with technology, according to a peer.

She frequently discusses tech for Woman & Home, Glamour and the BBC, and is described as a "true revolutionary" in the world of tech.

Lucinda Broadbent, director, Media co-op, workers co-op production company

Lucinda Broadbent has worked for over 20 years as a director and executive producer of UK and international documentaries for Channel 4, BBC, Scottish Television and Sky.

Specialising in human rights and social justice films, her work has included an animation on Female Genital Mutilation. Awards include Amnesty International’s Media Award and ECHO Human Rights Award. According to a peer, Broadbent has been "fearless" in using film and media to support the causes she believes in.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.