There’s been an extraordinary resurgence in the global gender equality movement in recent years, with more and more female leaders in powerful positions using their platform to bring a sense of visibility to a movement that’s spanned generations. Equal pay has forced its way to the forefront of most conversations about women in the advertising, marketing, media and tech industries. The industry as a whole has begun to see more and more businesses, primarily in European countries like Amsterdam, Sweden and France, adopting bold, new policies that make it possible for women and mothers to prioritise both family and career.
In January, the Women’s March brought between 3.6 and 4.6 million people from around the world together in a global demonstration to advocate for legislation put under threat by US President Donald Trump’ administration, making it the largest single-day demonstration in US history. Despite its origin in Washington D.C, more than 600 sister marches were planned in solidarity, many of which took place throughout Europe, resulting in hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who took to the streets of London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and more. It was a snapshot of global unification on behalf of women everywhere.
And yet, the numbers don’t lie: the ratio of women to men in the boardroom, the presence of female leaders in politics, and the millions of women who continue to demonstrate and march in protest tell us we’ve got a long way to go. Now, more than ever, giving a voice to the masses, supporting and championing other female leaders, and continuing to share stories, expertise and guidance with new generations of women entering the workforce – and the real world – is vital.
During Advertising Week Europe, a wide array of stand-out women will lead seminars and workshops to share their experiences and discuss how they’ve used, and continue to use, their platform to shed light on the hardships facing women in the industry today. By way of their remarkable success alone, these powerful featured women have proven the glass ceiling is within reach, and that through method of community, relationships supporting one another, the fight for equal rights, equal pay and equal treatment will keep charging forward.
Among them is Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA at Facebook and champion of women’s rights, who will lead discussion for the first Town Hall, “Business Without Borders,” focused on British business within the global economic space.
As part of the second Town Hall session, “D&AD Impact & Microsoft Present Innovative Technology For Good,” Haiyan Zhang, Innovation Director for Microsoft Research Cambridge, brings the female perspective to a dominantly male industry as she shares the healthy difference tech and artificial intelligence can make to real lives.
Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, will be joined by other panelists, including Suki Thompson, CEO of Oystercatchers, in “Transformation: The New Marketing Reality,” where they’ll discuss the shocks in business and politics over the last year and the importance of shaping a world where women and men can both be equal.
Nishma Robb, chair of WOMEN@GOOGLE UK and Head of Ads Marketing UK for Google, joins in discussion for "AdvertisingSOWHITE: Seeing is Believeing," where she and Nadya Powell, Co-Founder of The Great British Diversity, explore how despite the unified calls for change, the balance of female leaders and non-white employees in advertising agencies continues to decline.
Ali Hanan, Co-Founder of Creative Equals, takes the stage along with panelists like Tracy De Goose, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network UK and Ireland, in "Rennaisance: A New Value System," which explores how creativity fuels the digital economy and why it’s vital that the industry embarks on a rebirth.
Finally, Maggie Alphonsi MBE, famed British rugby player and 2014 Rugby World Cup Winner, lends a powerful female voice to a discussion about what makes a winning team in “Lessons from Sport: How to Build a Winning Team.”
For more about these speakers and a full list other featured speakers and seminars, head over to the official AWEurope calendar.