To mark the 25th anniversary of the first banner ad and the birth of digital marketing as we know it today, The Drum has partnered with Futures Network, Innovate Her and WACL for a special project. Together, we're honouring 25 women who have made an outstanding contribution to the industry in that time.
The 25 From 25 were chosen by a panel of industry luminaries after our readers were invited to nominate the people they felt were most worthy of recognition. (Read more about the selection process, and our jury.)
Once we've revealed the full list, we'll be asking you to help us decide which of our 25 From 25 deserves an extra special achievement award at next month's Dadi Awards ceremony.
But more on that later. For now, let's meet five more women who have shaped the digital industry...
Laura Jordan Bambach
Formerly president of DA&D, Laura Jordan Bambach is now one of the world’s few female chief creative officers, running the department at Mr. President. Since assuming the role, Bambach has twice been named one of Debrett’s 500 most influential people, in 2015 and 2016. She has also been awarded Individual of the Year at the Dadi awards, as well as an honourary doctorate for her services to graphic design by The University of the Arts London.
Bambach is the co-founder of SheSays, an organisation which educates, promotes and inspires women to take up digital creative careers, and The Great British Diversity Experiment, the largest practical experiment in diversity and its contribution to commercial creative practice.
After graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in English Literature, Jane McNeill went on to complete a postgraduate degree in marketing from Strathclyde University. McNeill got her start in the industry at Clarke Hooper Consulting, where she worked for seven years before moving to Claydon Heeley where she rose to the role of client services director and ran the British Airways account for six years.
As the chief executive of Agency Republic, which McNeill co-founded in 2011, her clients included O2, Nivea, Sony, Cancer Research UK and Diageo. She went on to work as chief operations officer for independent agencies, Work Club before assuming her current role at IAB.
Although she was once named ‘the most powerful British woman in the tech industry’ by The Daily Telegraph, Nicola Mendelsohn originally wanted to become an actress. After graduating from the University of Leeds, she went on to secure a place on the graduate training scheme at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, where she worked for the next 11 years, rising to the role of business development director. She moved onto Grey London where she served as deputy chairman, and then to Karmarama where she was partner and deputy chairman. In 2013 Mendelsohn was hired as Facebook’s vice president for EMEA.
In addition to sitting on the board of Diageo, Mendelsohn is co-chair of The Creative Industries Council, and director of the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction. She is chairman of the corporate board of Women’s Aid, a trustee of The White Ribbon Alliance and a past president of WACL. In 2015 she was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to the creative industries.
Claire Valoti got her start in the industry agency-side, spending over eight years at MindShare where she rose to the role of head of digital display and mobile. Valoti then moved to O2 Media where she served as managing director. When O2 Media closed its doors in 2012 to launch Weve, Valoti took over in the role of media director. In 2013, Valoti took over the role of head of agency relations at Facebook, where she remained for over two years. At the same time, she was chair of the Mobile Marketing Association.
Valoti made the move to Snap in 2016 when she was appointed general manager for Europe. She was promoted to vice-president international 2018, which she has previously expressed is the highlight of her career.
Nikki Wilkinson is a strategy director with over 10 years of experience across media and creative agencies. At Dentsu, Wilkinson lead interactive strategist across the Kellogg’s portfolio for both media and creative, a role that saw her develop and deliver interactive strategy across Kellogg's portfolio including Special K, Masterbrand, All Bran and Crunchy Nut. She later moved on to Publicis, where she remained as digital strategy director for just over two years before taking on the role of strategy director at the London-based, independent agency St Luke’s.
Wilkinson is now the active head of planning at Reach, where she is also brand director across The Mirror, OK! Magazine, The Daily Star and The Express. Wilkinson is also the co-founder of DAWN (Digital Advertising Women's Network) which has run events for women in the advertising industry for the last 10 years.
The next five inductees in the 25 from 25 will be revealed tomorrow.
Find out more about the Dadi Awards on the official website.