WACL aims to disrupt business leadership gender bias with Future Leaders Award bursary awards

This year's WACL Future Leader Award winners gathered at Percy & Founders in London

Women in Advertising & Communications London (WACL) last night announced the 30 women who have been awarded bursaries to pursue further training and education as part of this year’s WACL Future Leaders Award Programme.

The Future Leaders programme was started by WACL member Tess Alps in 2005, after research exposed that women do not typically get a fair share of the training budgets for senior leadership courses. The programme offers financial awards to women in business for personal training, to help them progress their career to boardroom level in the years ahead.

More than 230 entries were received from women working in a broad range of leading communications roles during this year’s programme, with entrants specifying what type of training they’d like to undertake and how that will ultimately enhance their leadership career credentials.

This year saw 55% of those entries requesting confidence training while 49% wanted the training in leadership specifically to help them reach their next role within their own organisation.

A special award The Patricia Mann Award, in memory of female industry pioneer Patricia Mann, was also handed out and for the first year there were three winners, Georgina Purdy of Ogilvy & Mather, Kathryn Marriott of Global Media and Remi Pedro of Direct Line Group.

All award winners will receive a sum up to 75% of their training costs, to a maximum of £2,250. Programmes that will be undertaken in the months ahead include courses held at RADA, The Clore Leadership Programme and London School of Economics, covering Executive Presence for Women, Impact and Influence for Women, Personal Impact in Meetings and Achieving Leadership Excellence, among other things.

Speaking of the scheme, Rachel Forde, chief executive officer of Spark Foundry and WACL FLA committee chair, said: “The Future Leaders Award is one of the most fulfilling things we do as members of WACL. Every year we get to meet incredibly talented and inspirational women on their way to making a difference in their organisations and careers. This year was no different. The calibre and number of women applying makes the competition very high.

“This year we had over 230 applying for the training bursaries across all sections of advertising with diverse representation across clients, agencies, industry bodies and media owners. What an impressive and inspirational bunch.”

WACL is an exclusive all female members club made up of some of the most powerful and pioneering women in business in the UK. Members include EasyJet CEO Dame Carolyn McCall, Facebook vice president Nicola Mendelsohn, chairman Children in Need Stevie Spring, MUMSNET founder Justine Roberts and Kathryn Jacob, chairman of Pearl & Dean Cinemas.

For more information on applying for next year’s Future Leaders Awards click here.

Last night's award winners were:

Anna Blackwell of Dentsu Aegis Network; Bumble Davis of Taylor James; Cecilia N’Zaou of Oath; Clare Bowen of Radio Centre; Dannielle Beechey of Mediacom; Elise Kostoglou of The Story Lab; Emily Conway of JWT; Emma Nicol of Ogilvy & Mather; Emma Saddleton of Carat; Gemma Moroney of Mischief PR; Georgina Purdy of Ogilvy & Mather; Gini Sharvill of General Mills; Jennie Cashman Wilson of Abram Wilson Foundation for Creative Arts; Kathryn Marriott of Global Media; Katie Traxton of We Are Fearless; Laura Phipps of Alzheimers Research UK; Lauren Crozier of BT; Lyndsay Morgan of Climb Online; Maria St Louis of Channel 4; Meigan Brown of Karamarama; Mieke Stones of London Sport; Nadja Lossgott of AMV BBDO; Ramat Tejani of GSMA; Remi Pedro of Direct Line Group; Sajeeda Merali of Infopro Digital; Samantha Gray of Barclays; Stephanie Matthews of ITV; Victoria Marshall of iCrossing; Zara Bryson of Publicis Media; Zoe Cooke OgilvyOne.

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