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...
After beginning her career agency-side at Young and Rubicam, Lindsay Pattison worked extensively with Ericsson who invited her to move client-side three years later. She later went on to spend six years at PHD as a managing partner, before moving on to Maxus (now merged with WEC to become Wavemaker) to the newly created role of global chief strategy officer and UK chief executive. In 2014 she was promoted to worldwide chief executive, becoming the only woman in the media agency to hold the title at that time.
In 2017 she was appointed chief transformation officer at GroupM and just a few months later to the same role at WPP. Across both roles Pattison led change programmes to support group and agency structures, talent and leadership. On the back of her work, Pattison was named WPP's first chief client officer in 2018. She is passionate about diversity and culture, launching ‘Walk the Talk’ – an initiative to help women in senior positions develop and thrive in the careers – during her time at Maxus. The scheme has since been adopted globally by WPP.
Not only has Abbie Walsh’s diverse career seen her work as a DJ and as a journalist, but her extensive design experience has meant she has taken a leading role in designing some of the most exciting services of our time, including the BBC iPlayer. Walsh is passionate about how design can be used to solve problems and create human-friendly solutions, as well as the social, ethical and educational challenges that the digital world can present and particularly the challenges relating to how children can safely engage with the digital world.
Walsh has worked at Fjord since 2008, when she joined as a service design lead. She has since risen to the position of managing director and now oversees Fjord’s lead clients through their digital transformation journeys. Walsh is passionate about culture as an underpinning for successful change and authored the Living Business approach to business transformation for longevity and vitality. She is also an advocate for diversity in successful companies, and how design can be used as catalyst for change.
Alexandra Willis began her career as a journalist at a number of multimedia publications. While working at a tennis magazine she was responsible for reconsidering the editorial structure to make better use of social media, email and online content. She went on to work for The Telegraph on the sports desk where she helped to launch itsiPad app. Throughout her career, Willis has achieved industry-wide recognition for her use of technology to transform the perceptions of a traditional brand like Wimbledon where she started working in 2011 in the role of digital content editor. Willis has since gone on to become the head of communications for the tennis championships, growing its global digital audiences to over 30m and more than doubling the commercial return.
As a result of her work, Willis is a three-time Sport Industry Award Winner, a five-time Sports Technology Awards winner and a Webby Awards winner. She has been named a WEF Young Global Shaper, a Sport Industry NextGen Leader, and in 2017, the Sports Technology Young Exec of the Year.
After graduating from The University of Oxford with a degree in history, Sue Unerman went on to work as a media planner and buyer and CMB&B and as a manager at Geers Gross before joining MediaCom in 2006 as its chief strategy officer. In her current role of chief transformation officer, Unerman is responsible for driving change and transformation across MediaCom and its clients. She has worked with brands including Mars, DFS, Direct Line Group, Tesco, Merlin Entertainment and Sky.
Unerman has used her expertise to co-author a book entitled The Glass Wall, which was called ‘a must-read’ by Nicola Mendelsohn (Facebook) and ‘fantastic’ by Martha Lane Fox, with Karen Blackett OBE (WPP) saying "I wish this book had existed when I was starting out in my career". Unerman also pens a column for Grazia entitled #winningatwork. She has previously been a member of The Open University Council, the OU’s Strategic Planning and Resource Committee and Women’s Aid’s Key Supporters Group. Last year she was included in the FT Heroes list for women who have championed gender equality at work for the second year in a row.
Nishma is Marketing Director at Google UK responsible for Google’s Brand & Reputation as well as leading advertising and industry marketing. She is a passionate leader and champion for Diversity and Equality and was previously the Chair of Women@Google. Nishma is also a Non-Exec Board Director and Fellow of The Marketing Society.
Nishma started her career at Teletext, where she rose the ranks to Managing Director of the business - taking it digital and onto multiple platforms. After a number of roles in client start-up businesses, she returned to media and advertising, most recently prior to Google, at Dentsu UK as Chief Customer Officer for iProspect, working across brands such as British Airways and Sky.
She has a number of accolades she is very proud of, including being selected Ad Age's Woman to Watch in Europe 2018, being listed in the Campaign 2019 A-List, one of the The Drum’s Digerati and recognised as a 'Trailblazer' in the Campaign 2019 Annual. In 2016, she was recognised as one of the most influential and innovative people in the UK’s creative industry in The Hospital Club's prestigious h100 awards and is listed as one of the top BAME execs in the UK. However, her most significant achievement to date is being a mother to her twins (followed closely by an impressive collection of shoes!)