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25 From 25: women who have shaped the digital industry (part 5)


By Ellen Ormesher | Senior Reporter

September 6, 2019 | 6 min read

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.

25 From 25 cover

25 From 25: women who have shaped the digital industry (part 5)

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.)

We've been profiling each of the 25 honourees in a series of articles running on this week. If you've missed any of our previous installments, catch up on part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 now.

Now, as we reveal our last group of honourees below, we need you to help us decide which of our 25 From 25 deserves an extra special achievement award at next month's Dadi Awards ceremony.

You can cast your vote here. But before you do, let's meet our final five women who have shaped the digital industry...

Lara Izlan​

Lara Izlan

After seven years working at The Telegraph where she launched, built and managed the newspaper’s programmatic trading business and was responsible for yield, optimization and analytics for the digital advertising team, Lara Izlan moved on to AutoTrader in the role of director of programmatic trading and innovations. In just under two years she was promoted to the role of director of advertising and data solutions where she was responsible for the structure and strategy of AutoTrader’s advertising platforms and data solutions.

Izlan has now been the director of advertising, data and analytics at ITV since April 2019. She is a frequent speaker, panelist and judge at advertising technology and digital marketing events and is also a volunteer mentor with Bloom UK, which supports young women in media, and a non-executive digital marketing advisor for the charity, Children of the Mekong.

Deirdre McGlashan​​

Deirdre McGlashan

As the global chief digital officer for MediaCom, Deirdre McGlashan is responsible for ensuring the full power of digital is harnessed to drive growth for the company’s wide range of clients. McGlashan joined MediaCom in 2014 after three years as head of digital, global clients at Aegis Media. Prior to that she was the chief executive of wwwins Isobar Greater China (an Aegis Media company) where she managed a team of 220 digital specialists across strategy, creative, technology and media across the Greater China region.

McGlashan began her career in San Francisco in the dot-com boom of the 90s, going on to co-found AnalogFolk in 2008. She is a great believer in the power of innovation regardless technology or job title. She champions that innovation is defined by a viewpoint, and that everyone can and should be innovating in their roles. It is about always wanting to do it better, looking at challenges from a different angle and solving a problem. For the last five years, McGlashan has sat on the board of GlobalGiving UK, the first and largest global crowdfunding community for non-profits.

Mary Keane Dawson

Mary Keane Dawson

Mary Keane Dawson is highly respected throughout the advertising and ad tech industries for her work with brands such as Mazda, Ford, John Lewis, Bupa, IBM, Nestle and British Gas, all of whom she has helped to navigate the rapidly changing digital landscape. Keane Dawson started her career at The Observer but has since gone on to play a part in creating an impressive mix of companies, including Redwood Publishing, SPAFAX (now part of WPP), Steak (now part of Dentsu), Reform Collective London and Trade Doubler’s incubator The Zoo Project. She also held the position of UK managing director with Neo@Ogilvy.

Keane Dawson has gone on to co-found the medical tech startup MyHealthPal. She is also the co-founder of Truth Media and Truth Data Cloud, the first global blockchain-enabled media agency created to provide 100% transparency in the media supply chain, as well as the women's networking franchise How She Made It.

Katy Howell

Katy Howell

In 2002, Katy Howell recognised an opportunity for brands to make better use of social media and she has championed its role in marketing ever since. Howell is the chief executive officer of the social media agency Immediate Future and is often called in as an expert on social by TV and radio programmes. She has appeared frequently on BBC News, Victoria Derbyshire, and Reuters, as well in The Telegraph, The Financial Times and The Guardian.

Above all, Howell is fundamentally driven by giving back to the industry, regularly sharing insights reports, data analysis, and giving away knowledge training to all generations of social media marketers.

Alessandra Di Lorenzo

Alessandra Di Lorenzo

Previously chief commercial officer at, Alessandra di Lorenzo headed up the group’s media business, Travelpeople, and oversaw advertising and partnerships revenue before moving to become chief executive of Forward in April of this year. Di Lorenzo already had a decade of experience under her belt prior to this, holding positions at eBay, Vodafone and Yahoo, where she emphasised her focus on mobile-marketing and data-driven commercial and product development.

Di Lorenzo is passionate about all things tech-related and currently sits on the board of trustees for The Youth for Technology Foundation Trust. She was previously included in The Drum’s Digerati, which compiles the top 100 digital influencers in the UK, in both 2017 and 2018.

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