Equality, diversity and inclusion was a major theme at this year’s MADFest London with a large area of the event’s now famous Brick Lane Beach area given over to the Female Leaders Bar.
The Bar is the brainchild of a coalition of industry leaders, including Street Agency founder Katie Street; The Advisory Collective Founder Ellie Edwards Scott; and The Digital Voice founder Julia Linehan.
It is being led by MADFest London Project Manager Aoife Diamond.
The new Female Leaders’ Bar created content during the event to inspire change and an inclusive networking space that celebrates female leadership.
First ever Female Leaders Bar
Hosted by Julia linehan, the charismatic CEO and founder of digital march and adtech PR agency The Digital Voice, the Female Leaders Bar was a first for MADFest, and provided back to back, inspiring thought leadership from an impressive lineup of female leaders within the industry.
Attendees heard how women should be encouraged to get out of the comfort zones and go for the careers they want.
With still too few female leaders in business generally, they are now being encouraged to ‘step up and lean-in’ to go for the jobs they really feel they can develop in.
The wide ranging interviews didn’t just tackle confidence issues among women. The audience also heard essential guidance on how to actually be a leader once you’re in the position.
Female Leaders Riding the Storm
Tuesday’s session saw Rachel Kerrone, Brand + Marketing Director, Starling Bank; Fern Potter, CSO Multilocal;
Hannah Mirza, Founder, Responsible Marketing Agency; and Suzanna Chaplin, CEO, ESB Connect, sharing their stories and insights on being female leaders in the marketing industry.
Following up in the second session on Thursday were inspiring voices such as Lianre Robinson CEO Codec.ai and WACL Co-chair campaigning committee; Hannah Dempsey, Marketing Director, JellyFish; Tanwa Edu, CSO, Lumen; Hollie McLellen, Director of Customer Marketing, Boots UK; and Melissa Desmond, Business Development Director, Nectar360.
The Female Leaders Bar could be seen by the marketing and communications industry as a call to action, as there remains a striking lack of women rising to leadership roles in the marketing and communications industry.
Women occupy just 39% of leadership roles in the industry, (in the UK), despite making up almost half, 48%, of the total workforce.