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4creative's Alice Tonge takes home Creative Women of the Year at The Drum Creative Awards 2017


By Dani Gibson | Senior Writer

December 4, 2017 | 6 min read

2017 has been the year to push boundaries and shine a light on equality within the industry. Now more than ever, following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, it is important to recognise creative women and their contribution to the work created and the changes they make, for the sector.

Creative women of the year

4creative's Alice Tonge takes home Creative Women of the Year at The Drum Creative Awards 2017

That is why The Drum Creative Awards, in sponsorship with Facebook Creative Shop and partnership with Creative Equals, brought back the creative women of the year category, for a second year. The category was launched in 2016 to promote diversity within the industry and attracted more than 20 entries this year, with 10 creative women, shortlisted by the judging panel.

This years winner is Alice Tonge, executive creative director at 4creative.

Caitlin Ryan, chairperson of the judging panel and group executive creative director at Cheil Worldwide expressed how all of the women shortlisted were "phenomenally talented" and came from a spectrum of eclectic, innovative creative backgrounds.

"What made us choose Alice? Firstly, her work is extraordinarily good. Her tribute to the Paralympics ‘We’re the Superhumans’ is rightly considered one of the finest pieces of work to come out of UK in the last couple of years. But just as important is the way she thinks and leads. She pushes boundaries, takes creative risks, celebrates diversity and challenges the status quo."

"I honestly cannot think of a better advertisement for female creative leadership in 2017 than Alice."

Winner: Alice Tonge, executive creative director/head at 4creative

​Tonge was the creative and creative director on the 2016 Rio Paralympics campaign 'WE’RE THE SUPERHUMANS', a big celebration of super-ability involving 140 disabled stars. The campaign won 2 D&AD black pencils, a Cannes Grand Prix and had been adopted by the U.N. as a worldwide disability aid, as well as becoming part of the national curriculum in UK schools.

Highly commended: Resh Sidhu, creative director at Framestore

​Sidhu has been breaking new grounds in virtual reality and is a well-respected woman driving the medium forward with her fearless creativity and innovative approach. She was recently voted as a Top 50 Creative Leader by Creative Review, named as a leading female pioneer in VR by Marie Claire Magazine and featured in Campaign as Top 30 Women creative trailblazers redefining ad land. Her most recent work is the 'Fantastic Beasts Virtual Reality experience' working with Google, Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling.

Highly commended: Caroline Pay and Vicki Maguire, chief creative officers at Grey London

Pay and Maguire are an unstoppable duo in the advertising world, with their trademark ‘leading generously’ management style and their focus on diversity and inclusivity in both the workplace and in their award-winning work, shown when they changed the company’s name to Valenstein and Fatt.

One of the few female-only teams leading a major player in the advertising world, their passion for diversity was demonstrated during the 2017 Cannes Lions, when they took part in #CampaignforEquality.


Becky McOwen-Banks, creative director at FCB Inferno

Charlotte Adorjan, creative director at AMVBBDO

Lizi Hamer, creative director at Octagon

Margaret Johnson, partner, chief creative officer at Goodby Silverstein and Partners

Melissa Ditson, executive creative director at 360i Europe

Shahnaz Ahmed, senior designer at Livity / Knit Aid

Thea Hamrén, creative director at Mr President

All of the shortlisted nominees were invited to the awards and brought a guest with them, a junior female rising star in the industry, to promote creative gender equality across different levels of businesses.

The Drum Creative Awards puts creativity back in the spotlight and flys the flag for creativity during the digital revolution. These global awards are open to advertising agencies, design consultancies, digital agencies, production companies, marketing agencies, PR and more.

To register your interest for 2018, go to the event website.

This years awards were sponsored by: Facebook Creative Shop and One Minute Brief and partnered with: Creative Equals.

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