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The Drum's 50 under 30 2015: Meet the young women making waves in the digital space

Each day this week The Drum will be highlighting 10 of the digital pioneers who made it into this year's 50 under 30.

The Drum's annual 50 Under 30 feature, now in its third year, aims to celebrate the best and brightest female trailblazers working in the UK's digital space.

This year we received more nominations than ever before and invited an esteemed panel of judges to whittle down your suggestions and curate the shortlist.

The group was chaired by The Drum's co-founder Diane Young and included Unruly co-founder Sarah Wood, Google's Matt Bush and Amy Kean, regional director of strategy, APAC at Mindshare, Will Hayward, chief commercial officer for Dazed Group, Sandra McDill, chief digital officer for 7thingsmedia, Pete Markey, chief marketing officer for The Post Office, Dylan Williams, global chief strategy officer for Publicis Worldwide, Google’s director of performance Matt Bush, AOL’s managing director and vice president, Hamish Nicklin, and Stephanie Marks, deputy managing director of Maxus London.

The final 50 woman were chosen based on the strength of their testimonials and contribution to the industry.

As part of The Drum's ongoing commitment to championing women in the digital industries, we wanted to recognise and celebrate the growing number of hugely talented young women blazing a trail in this sector, racing up the ranks, changing the world, and caring not a jot for outdated notions around gender roles.

Each day this week we'll be profiling 10 of the final candidates in alphabetical order. Scroll down to take a look at who made the cut and what their average day looks like. Hint: It's far from average.

Rebecca Ackers, account director, Seller Cloud, Rubicon Project

What does your average day look like?

It would involve face-to-face catch ups with clients to advise on yield strategies, data analysis and product training (over a coffee and maybe even a cronut). What I enjoy most of all is finding innovative new opportunities for them and working closely with them until they are live.

How would your colleagues describe you?

I actually asked for feedback on this one and received a lovely response: ‘knowledgeable, a team player and super enthusiastic’. I hope it’s all true!

Nazilla Allahiary, social media strategist, iCrossing

What’s been your biggest career highlight to date?

This is a difficult one, but it was probably attending a private Labrinth gig at the Saatchi Gallery for a client campaign. It was such an honour to be asked to go and create content surrounding the event. I’m quite lucky as my role means that I often get to do amazing things in order to get to know the brands I work with better.

If you weren’t in digital, what would you be doing?

I’d be working in film production. I studied to be an editor and find it very therapeutic.

Sophia Allen, senior account manager, Wunderman UK

How would your colleagues describe you?

I asked and a lot of it is unprintable, but some highlights were: ‘fun to work with’, ‘good at understanding how people work’, ‘a human shield’, and ‘fearless with a touch of sass’.

Who inspires you most, either professionally or personally?

I’m inspired by the change-makers. Those who aren’t afraid to ruffle feathers, defy convention or break the mould. Both personally and professionally I’m fortunate enough to know incredible women who are excelling in their fields and inspiring others to do the same.

Jen Allison, freelance social media manager and copywriter, J For Jen

What’s been your biggest career highlight to date?

I recently worked on Coronation Street’s live episode, which was an amazing experience. Alongside the ITV team, I managed social media output and we got #CorrieLive trending at number one worldwide.

What does your average day look like?

Each day is different. I might be working from my studio in Leeds one day then Instagramming from the Corrie cobbles the next.

If you weren’t in digital, what would you be doing?

I’d love to open a shop. I’d sell expensive candles and beautiful stationery in the front and have a tattoo studio in the back.

Lauren Archer, head of marketing and PR, Silverbean

What’s been your biggest career highlight to date?

Before Silverbean I always worked in-house, client-side. One of my biggest highlights has been joining an agency. I’ve learned more than I could have ever imagined and it never stops.

If you weren’t in digital, what would you be doing?

When at university I was obsessed with radio presenting and voiced the breakfast show for three years at the university station. I’d like to think I’d have pursued that, but truly, it’s all about digital for me and I wouldn’t want to be in any other industry.

Courtney Bain, account director, Wunderman

What does your average day look like?

No two days are the same which is what keeps me excited to walk into Greater London House or our clients’ offices every day.

How would your colleagues describe you?

A strategically minded account director who never loses sight of overarching business objectives while working through the essential nitty gritty details with various departments, third parties and clients. Someone who is knowledgeable and reliable.

Chelsea Blacker, digital account director, BlueGlass

What does your average day look like?

My entire day is focused around listening, to clients to provide creative resolutions to their challenges, and to our strategists to make recommendations on client campaigns.

If you weren’t in digital, what would you be doing?

Working in the Rocky Mountains as a ranch hand in the summer and a ski instructor in the winter.

Kathryn Blanshard, consultancy director, C Space

What’s been your biggest career highlight to date?

Helping to build the London consultancy team at C Space from six people to 70 over the last six years.

If you weren’t in digital, what would you be doing?

My first job was in film publicity. I’d like to think I’d still be in the film industry, creating PR strategies and responding to crazy celebrity requests, like shepherding one actress 100m from pavement to red carpet in a carbon neutral car.

Georgie Bottomley, co-founder, Ladies That UX

Had Georgie Bottomley not been working in digital she fancies herself as a trapeze artist, although admits to not being very good with heights.

Branded one to watch, Bottomley co-founded Ladies That UX in 2013 to help lead a revolution for women in digital. By creating a relaxed atmosphere Bottomley’s intention was to have female UXers and digital problem-solvers alike come together to discuss their experiences, both good and bad.

In addition to holding down full-time UX designer roles Bottomley also curated Talk UX in Manchester, the first UX conference with an all-female line-up, which, by her own admission, is her career highlight to date.

Determined to make a difference, Bottomley says her colleagues would see her as someone who was enthusiastic, passionate and hard-working, while of her day-to-day role Bottomley describes it as a real mix, from speaking to new cities about how to create their own Ladies That UX group to catching up with established cities to find out how things are going.

During the nominations process Bottomley’s efforts were described as not only admirable but as having made “a significant difference to women across the globe”, with Ladies That UX currently running in 36 cities worldwide.

Florence Bundy, operations director, Found

How would your colleagues describe you?

I have a reputation for being solutions-oriented, determined and unwavering in focus. Alongside this I’m told I have a nurturing streak and embrace and enable the people I work with, which I take great pride in.

Who inspires you most, either professionally or personally?

I’ve been exceptionally lucky working alongside Tina Judic – one of the industry’s digital elite. I’ve been exposed to her unrivalled online experience, glistening strategy delivery and tireless business acumen. She impresses and inspires every day with dedication, passion and enthusiasm.

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