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50 Under 30 Women in Digital News

The Drum's 50 under 30 2015: We reveal the young female trailblazers who are racing up the ranks


By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

October 20, 2015 | 9 min read

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 50 under 30 list has become a widely recognised platform since it was first published three years ago.

The feature celebrates the trailblazing young women in the digital industry, who stand out in a space dominated by men.

This year's list was curated by a respected judging panel, featuring industry experts such as AOL's managing director and vice-preisdent Hamish Nicklin; Stephanie Marks, deputy managing director of Maxus London; Unruly co-founder Sarah Wood and The Drum co-founder Diane Young.

Each day this week we'll be profiling 10 of the final candidates in alphabetical order, scroll down to see what they'd be doing if they weren't in digital, and what inspires them most.

Kate Casey, investment account director, Manning Gottlieb OMD

What’s been your biggest career highlight to date?

Being in a job which I genuinely look forward to going to every day.

What does your average day look like?

No two days are the same for me. I am lucky enough to work across a wide range of clients, teams and projects which brings with it vast variety and opportunities.

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

Like everyone in media I love a bit of fine dining, so a career as restaurant critic where I could indulge my love of good food would be nice.

Honor Clement-Hayes, content writer, Ingenie

What does your average day look like?

Beautiful. I work on content on and off all day, and I usually do a OneMinuteBrief on Twitter, which is a joyful way for me to stay sharp and keep in touch with my advertising and copywriting buddies.

Who inspires you most, either professionally or personally?

My copywriting hero, or ‘copyfather’, Chris Miller (D&AD judge and senior copywriter at The Gate). I discovered his website a year ago and sent him an email – ‘You write like you might be my real dad’ – and we’ve since formed a lovely relationship based on ebullient sarcasm.

Sophie Coley, strategist, Propellernet

What’s been your biggest career highlight to date?

Being named as the first ever European Young Search Professional of the Year in 2013 was pretty special. It came a few months after my first big pitch win and an eye-opening work trip to New York.

What does your average day look like?

I’m involved in the planning of key client accounts so my days are largely spent looking for qualitative insights in Google data, in social media and elsewhere, as well as working with our creative team to nail creative briefs and concepts.

Jodie Cook, managing director, JC Social Media

Jodie Cook founded her business, JC Social Media, at the age of 22. Labelled by colleagues as an “ideal candidate for the list”, Jodie’s ambition, enthusiasm and expertise were highlighted as her strong suits, catching the eye of this year’s judges.

In addition to running her own business Jodie has appeared on TV and radio as an expert in all things social media.

Asked her career highlight to date, Cook points to her book, #Winning at Social Media, adding that she was excited to be sharing her theory and practices on social media with the world upon its publication.

Cook’s day begins in the gym before heading to the office, and she says her colleagues would most likely characterise her as motivated and upbeat and a “healthy, powerlifting member of the grammar police”.

Despite harbouring aspirations to be a professional athlete Cook says if she hadn’t got into digital it is likely she would had started a business in another area, drawing inspiration from her mum whose success she aims to emulate.

Personally she admires Olympic athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill for her commitment and Michael Acton Smith, who despite being hugely successful is “still always wearing jeans and t-shirts”.

Lauren Currie, programme leader, Hyper Island

What does your average day look like?

I spend most days at Hyper Island’s school in Manchester designing learning experiences for our international experience design students. I spend time online sharing what and how I’m learning, and also on stage fuelling others to use their creativity to do good.

Who inspires you most, either professionally or personally?

People who stand for something; who believe things can be better and who act upon their ideas. In no particular order: Nicola Sturgeon, Glenda Jackson, Christopher Watson, Vivienne Westwood and Martha Lane Fox.

Anneka Dew, planning senior executive, Manning Gottlieb OMD

How would your colleagues describe you?

Hopefully they’d describe me as energetic, enthusiastic, slightly random in thought, and someone who is genuinely fascinated by the media industry. I’m ambitious and I actively seek opportunities, but also a sincere team player.

Who inspires you most, either professionally or personally?

I’m lucky to be surrounded by very talented and approachable women in OMG, and aspire to reach such levels within my career while successfully balancing home life too. Personally I’m inspired by Jessica Ennis-Hill – to win at the world championships just a year after becoming a mum; what a superwoman.

Holly Dewsbury, senior agency lead UK and Ireland, Twitter

What’s been your biggest career highlight to date?

Being made head of a social media department at the age of 25. Long nights, hard work and challenges helped me build up to the promotion and attract the attention of Twitter to make the jump between agency and social media platform.

Who inspires you most, either professionally or personally?

Twitter has a lot of strong female leads. One who I admire is Talin Terzakyan – she’s set the bar for me. Personally, my parents who both worked in advertising for over 30 years and are always a great sound board for advice along the way.

Sabine Douglas, partner manager, Beatroot Music

What’s been your biggest career highlight to date?

Braving leaving a great job in a very successful agency to join the startup world. It was the most terrifying and exciting thing I’ve done, but I’ll never look back.

Who inspires you most, either professionally or personally?

I’ve always admired the business owners and leaders who prioritise the team. I’m a big fan of Reed Hastings and what he’s achieved at Netflix, as well as Tony Robbins.

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

Something to do with horses or animals. I’m not-so-secretly a crazy horse person.

Claire Dunford, European social media manager, Honda Motor Europe

What does your average day look like?

My role covers the entire business; I discuss messaging with PR and marketing, support HR with LinkedIn strategy and train our European markets on social best practice. Social media can feed into all areas, so there’s no such thing as an average day and that’s what I love.

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

A theatre critic. Or maybe a Great British Bake Off contestant.

Emily Forbes, chief executive and founder, Seenit

Colleagues and judges credited Emily Forbes with creating “something extraordinary” with collaboration platform Seenit.

Hailed as a “pioneer of the London scene”, at this year’s Cannes Lions, Forbes’ technology was used for no less than 10 videos.

No two days are the same for Forbes, from creative pitches to analysing product feedback and talking to investors.

Of her career highlight to date she says managing to close a round of funding for an idea she’d had was “pretty crazy” adding that being backed by those she respects and admires is what keeps her pushing forward with Seenit.

Inspired by documentary filmmaker Dr Lawrence Blair, Forbes credits his ability to fully immerse himself into communities to capture moments like no one else for sowing the “early seeds” of her business plan.

Described as a “powerhouse”, Forbes says she hopes her colleagues see her as someone who is open and motivated about new ideas but most of all determined.

If she wasn’t working in digital Forbes joked she could fall back on her old job working in a fossil shop as she could always fall back on her collection and set up her own store.

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