WACL Future Leaders Award

  • Applications will open 18th September 2017
  • Deadline 31st October 2017
  • Judging taking place in January 2018
  • Winners announced 26th January 2018

You can read about last years’ winners and awards below and also see the sort of questions we ask in the application process. Look forward to hearing from you in September!

So what exactly is the WACL Future Leaders Award?

It is a training bursary offered to women within the industry to help enhance their likelihood of getting to the top ranks of their organizations and being leaders within our industry. WACL will give up to 75%, to a maximum contribution of £2250, towards the cost of a further educational/training scheme of your choice. The remainder of the cost of the course must be met by your current employer. So if your course is £400 – we give you £300 and your employer the remaining £100. But if your course is £4000 then we give you £2250 and the £1750 comes from your employer. We are delighted that our applicants come from all areas of our industry, from large and small media, PR and communication agencies, to media owners both large and small, emerging digital businesses, charities, PR and client businesses too. The scheme is a WACL initiative which is administered by NABS.

What is WACL?

WACL is a network of the most influential women in the advertising, marketing, commercial media and communications business. It is a supportive and spirited group of individuals who meet to enable women in our industry to reach their potential and retain senior positions.

Why should you do it?

If you are a future leader you will no doubt be thinking about the skills, capabilities and experience you will need to advance your career to play a greater leadership role in our industry. Whether you want leadership training, to improve your commercial acumen or any other aspect that you believe will help propel you forward in your career in our industry WACL will consider offering a bursary. And it also looks great on your CV, your LinkedIn page and allows you to boast a little to your family!

A ready made network

FUTURES_LogoNetworking is key to success and if you are lucky enough to win an FLA then you automatically join a networking group called FUTURES. They hold quarterly events for all previous winners and it’s a great way of meeting like-minded people in the industry and really getting to know them. You can find out more details here – nabs.org.uk/FUTURES or contact the team directly through [email protected].

How to apply & the process

Applications are now closed as and will re-open 18th September 2017. Once completed and submitted, a panel of judges will review all applications and the final short-listed candidates are invited to meet the panel for a 15-minute interview. This is likely to take place at the NABS offices Mid-January 2018.

·       WACL Future Leaders Award opens for entries: 18th September 2017
·       Closing deadline for entries: 31st October 2017
·       Notification of shortlisting for interview: December 2017
·       Panel Interviews take place: Mid-January 2018
·       Notification of bursary award decision: End of January 2018
·       Winners Dinner: April 2018

What we are looking for and how to write a good entry

Remember we are looking for leaders who are dedicated to growing their career in our industry. In your application aim to demonstrate your leadership approach and experience so far, bring to life your leadership potential and style. Here are some tips from last year’s winners 2015 Winners Tips  

Who is eligible?

Applicants must:

  • Be a woman
  • Be currently employed in the marketing & communications industry
  • Have at least 3 years industry experience
  • Be committed to developing a career within this industry
  • Be able to demonstrate potential as a future leader
  • Have the application endorsed by current employer

What we ask of you

The impact you can have of sharing your story and experience with others across our industry is considerable, inspiring others to participate and leading by example demonstrating the benefits of taking on leadership roles. All we ask is your willingness to take part in any PR initiatives we undertake including potential speaking engagements such as Gather or other events subject to your availability.

The Patricia Mann Award

Each year we make an award to one of the winners in honour of a long-standing and influential member of WACL, Patricia Mann OBE who died in 2006. She was truly a trailblazer for women within the world of communications. She was VP of JWT International & Head of External Affairs and one of the first female non- executive directors sitting on the boards of The Woolwich, British Gas then Centrica. She held numerous senior roles across The IPA, The ASA, WACL and was even Chairman of the Parliamentary Debating Group. WACL’s core values are inspired by the way Patricia led her life always ready with advice and guidance – no matter how busy with a great sense of fun. Patricia opened the door for so many of us to follow through and we look for someone to recognise that embodies some of her spirit. The 2015 Patricia Mann prize winner was Pilar Santos a creative from Mother.

The Winners Dinner

You will be invited to attend an informal winners dinner in April 2018 in central London. This will be the chance for you to meet and network with your fellow winners, the WACL judges and other senior members of WACL


The 2016/17 winners of the FLA were:


Alison Quinn Project Manager Yahoo-Inc Executive Presence for Women, RADA in Business
Anne Mogelvang Associate Director MediaCom Rising Women Leaders – University of Cambridge
Emma Callaghan Group Account Director Trinity Mirror Solutions Executive Presence for Women, RADA in Business
Fiona Ravlic Head of Sales 8 Outdoor Rising Women Leaders Programme, University of Cambridge
Frith Janes Strategist Arena Media Code First Female Professionals
Geri Tuneva Head of Marketing Qubit “Code_in A Day” – Decoded.
Jennifer Morris Strategic Communications Planner Google Mini MBA, Management Centre Europe
Jenny Douglass Operations Manager Primesight Business Pyschology MSC – University of East London
Jox Petiza Content Strategy Associate Director MediaCom Designing Strategy for Competitive Advantage – London School of Economics
Juliet Kent Creative Now TV Presenting – City Lit
Kate Ivory Strategy Director Carat Design Thinking Bootcamp, The Design Thinking Academy
Lois Shimmen Marketing Manager GiffGaff Strategic Decision Making for Leaders, Cass Business School
Lucy Moody Planner J Walter Thompson The Mini MBA, Birkbeck, University of London
Nicola Shepherd Head of Media Barclays Executive Presence for Women, RADA in Business
Philippa Dunjay Senior Planner Karmarama Personal Impact in Meetings – RADA in Business
Priya Datta Account Director iProspect Communicate with Impact: Business Design Centre
Rachel Clutterbuck Event Manager JWT Stage Management Skills – Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Sam Vine Account Director Now Stage Fright – RADA in Business
Sara McCraight Head of Marketing Street League Mini MBA – Marketing Week
Sarah Mead Business Director – Sales JCDecaux Women for the Board – Westminster Business School
Sonia Karia Board Director Iris Worldwide miniMBA Executive Development Programme – London School of Business & Finance
Tara Austin Planning Director Ogilvy & Mather Lateral Thinking Certification – The Holst Group
Vikki Hutton Editor Mumsnet Leadership Advantage Series – Advantage Business Partnerships

The skillsets women need in order to move up in their careers lie firmly in personal development and self-belief.