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Meet the judges for The Drum's UK 50 under 30 recognising outstanding women in digital


By Sam Bradley, Journalist

May 8, 2018 | 6 min read

The Drum's 50 under 30 in the UK is back to honour and celebrate talented women excelling in Britain's digital industry.

50 under 30 judges

Clockwise left: Matt Edwards, Kerry Glazer, Bronac McNeill, Phil Smith, Jo Coombs, Sinead Gray.

Over the last few weeks, our readers have been busy nominating the women blazing a trail in the digital industries – whether that be in marketing or media, adtech or design, client-side or agency. With the help of our six-person industry judging panel, The Drum will unveil the final 50 next month.

Cameron Clarke, deputy editor of The Drum, said: "Over the last five years the 50 under 30 has recognised hundreds of outstanding emerging talents and we’re excited to see who follows in their footsteps this year.

"Once again, we are indebted to the industry luminaries who are taking time out of their schedules to help curate our list and give a platform to the next generation of digital leaders. We thank them for taking part and urge all our readers to nominate their peers for consideration.”

There is still time for you to nominate yourself or a peer by filling out this short form by 30 May.

Here are the judges who will then be helping us curate our list:

Kerry Glazer

Kerry Glazer

Kerry Glazer’s communications industry career spans more than three decades and she is one of the industry’s most prominent figures. Her CV includes spells at JWT, WCRS, Limbo (BBH) and Kendall Tarrant (now The Talent Business). She joined AAR as commercial director in 1999, was promoted to managing director in 2000 and to chief executive in 2006.

Glazer is a member of numerous industry bodies and groups, including Wacl (currently serving as president) and the Nabs 100 Club. She sits on the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Specialist Knowledge Group for Marketing, is a member of the steering committee for the timeTo initiative, and is a trustee of Nabs.

"Schemes like The Drum’s 50 under 30 are enormously important," she said. "They remind us that this industry thrives because of talent of its people, that talent is the province of all genders, that there are many exceptionally talented women out there, and that we should celebrating them!"

Sinéad Gray

Sinead Gray

Sinéad Gray is managing partner at independent creative agency Kindred and the 2016/17 president of Bloom, a professional network for women in the communications industry.

She said: “Through both my day job and the work I do with Bloom, I meet so many super smart, sparky and ambitious women that I know are going to make this industry a better, more creative and more inclusive place to work in the years to come. I hope by recognising and championing this talent now we can spur them on to achieve their potential.”

Matt Edwards

Matt Edwards

Matt Edwards has over 20 years' experience of working in leading creative agencies and became chief executive at WCRS in 2011. The agency's focus on digital talent and output since that time has seen WCRS produce some of the most awarded digital work in the industry, winning Gold at Cannes, the Bima Grand Prix and Agency of the Year.

Discussing 50 under 30, he told The Drum: "Our business is built on talent and so I’m delighted to support this celebration of the women who will be leading our industry in the next few years."

Phil Smith

Phil Smith

Phil is director general of Isba, the voice of British advertisers. His broad marketing and general management career spans packaged goods, grocery retail, consultancy and marketing technology startups.

He spent 10 years at Kraft, latterly as vice-president, strategy for western Europe. He was marketing and trading director for Kwiksave before joining the board of Somerfield as group marketing director. He joined Camelot, the National Lottery operator in 2002, becoming commercial and operations director before being appointed managing director of Musgrave GB in 2007.

"Nurturing top digital talent and creating truly diverse workplaces may well be the two most important challenges for sustaining the health of our industry," he told The Drum. "So this for me is a really important initiative to support."

Jo Coombs

Jo Coombs

One of the most prominent figures in UK advertising, Jo Coombs recently left Ogilvy One UK after 14 years at the agency and two as its chief executive. She has worked with brands like British Airways, Unilever and American Express in a career that has also spanned roles at Brann, Wunderman and Y&R Europe.

Bronac McNeill

Bronac McNeill

Bronac McNeill is an internationally recognised freelance photographer. A filmmaker and photographer who won a Bronze Lion for VR film 'This Is Stroke' in 2015, she has run Bronac McNeill Photography & Film since 2007.

Discussing 50 under 30, she said "We get so little in the way of recognition for our skills and accomplishments. Getting on this list will prove direction and fuel motivation. This will in turn drive our industry forward to bigger and greater achievements."

Nominations for The Drum's 50 under 30 close 30 May. If you work with an outstanding individual, or feel someone in the industry is deserving of recognition, we want to hear from you.

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