Wacl Future Leaders Award: '2019 is the year of pragmatic action'

Wacl Future Leaders Award: 2019 winners (picture credit: Bronac McNeill)
Wacl Future Leaders Award: 2019 winners (picture credit: Bronac McNeill)

Thirty-nine women have been awarded bursaries to further their training and boost their careers.

Wacl has awarded 39 bursaries to women to pursue further training and education as part of its Future Leaders Award.

The funds the winners receive will go towards a range of training opportunities designed to help them achieve their career goals and fulfil their potential. 

This year, the Future Leaders Award committee was chaired by Victoria Fox, chief executive of AAR, who said the overriding theme of the submissions was around realising real change. Fox said that all candidates demonstrated improved confidence, with one articulating this as: "If 2018 was the year of women finding their voices, 2019 is the year of pragmatic action."

The committee also included: Claire Hilton, managing director at Barclays; Kate Waters, director of client strategy and planning at ITV; and Sarah Ellis, managing director at Gravity Road. They shortlisted 65 women from more than 250 applications for face-to-face interviews in order to decide the winners.

Patricia Mann Award

Every year, Wacl hands the Patricia Mann Award to one or two exceptional winners. Mann died in 2006 after a 47-year career at J Walter Thompson and went out of her way to support other women in the industry. In an era when few role models existed for women, Mann made it her mission to change this. 

This year's winners are Renee Vaughan Sutherland, creative director at Hub, and Jackie Scully, deputy managing director at Think Publishing. 

In addition to her role at Hub, Vaughan Sutherland has created a podcast called Greater Than 11%, which explores opportunities for women in the creative industries through interviewing female creatives about their careers and experiences.

Scully balances a successful career with volunteering work and encouraging others into exercise following a diagnosis of breast cancer. She was awarded a Points of Light award by prime minister Theresa May in 2018 for her contribution to charity and has since been recognised as one of the Women of the Future’s inaugural 50 Leading Lights.

Deeds, not words

The Future Leaders Award programme was started by Wacl member Tess Alps in 2005 and is designed to reward talented and inspirational women. In the past 14 years, 184 women have received the bursary.

In addition, the winners benefit from the support of Wacl's Futures Network alumni, who provide practical support and mentoring. The Future Leaders Award recently launched the #PassItOn series with Campaign to share learnings from across the industry

Laura Vipond, co-founder of the Futures Network and group new-business director at Karmarama, added: "Winning the Wacl Future Leaders Award bursary was only one part of the prize. The Futures Network alumni community that I’m now part of has helped me find my tribe. The ongoing support this peer network provides as we progress through our careers continues to be absolutely invaluable."

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