About WACL

Supporting women since 1923

Women in Advertising and Communications, Leadership (WACL) is a membership organisation whose purpose is to accelerate gender equality in the advertising and communications industries. Founded in 1923, our membership currently comprises over 250 senior women drawn from client organisations, agencies, media owners and trade bodies.

We are lucky enough to count many high-profile women such as Dame Carolyn McCall (CEO, ITV), Justine Roberts (Founder, Mumsnet) and Alessandra Bellini (CCO, Tesco PLC) among our members, as well as industry trailblazers like Carol Reay (the first woman to have her name on the door of an agency) and Barbara Nokes (the creative behind many of Levi’s most famous ads).

Making change happen

Our membership today reflects  many of those at the forefront of progressive change, including Chaka Sobhani (CCO Leo Burnett), Selma Nicholls (Founder, Looks Like Me), Helen Normoyle (Founder, My Menopause Centre) and Nana Bempah (founder, POCC).

Why women’s leadership is important

Women leaders make powerful role models and not just for other women. Research suggests that if leaders were judged solely in terms of the traits that are most valued and effective, 70% of leaders would be female. But women are still woefully under-represented at the most senior levels in advertising and communications. By leading for change, we aim to improve female representation in key roles, address the industry’s persistent gender pay gap, create more inclusive cultures, and ultimately create more equitable and more productive workplaces for everyone.

What we do

Read about what we do for leaders, talent and allies below.

Support for WACL Leaders

Benefit from the professional and emotional support provided from a powerful network of over 250 female leaders. Whatever your challenge, the chances are someone or something in WACL can help you through it! From our formal peer to peer mentoring, to our guest speaker programme to informal opportunities to make new friends or catch up with old ones, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your WACL membership.

22/23 Leadership team
Past Presidents

WACL’s Executive Committee is led by the President, with the support of her VP. Each year WACL’s leadership oversees the delivery of all our programmes of support, inspiration and campaigning, as well as our events and the day to day running and governance of the Club. WACL has one salaried administrator but all other roles are filled by volunteers, who generously give up their spare time to help run the Club.

Nishma Robb
Nishma Robb

Senior Director, Brand & Reputation Marketing


Rachel Bristow
Rachel Bristow

Coach & Associate of Conker


Victoria Fox
Victoria Fox



Rania Robinson
Rania Robinson

CEO and Partner

Quiet Storm

Carol Reay
Carol Reay


ProQuo AI

Sarah Parkes
Sarah Parkes

Partnerships Director


Load more

Over the year WACL’s Past Presidents have included some of the industry’s best known and most respected female leaders including Kerry Glazer (17/18), Elizabeth Fagan (09/10), Nicola Mendelsohn (08/09), Dame Dianne Thompson (05/06), Tess Alps (03/04), Dame Carolyn McCall (02/03), Dame Cilla Snowball (99/00), Stevie Spring (94/95), and Patricia Mann (72/73).


See the full list of WACL Past Presidents here.


WACL is proud to work with a range of organisations which support our aims to accelerate gender equality, including NABs, Bloom, CMI, All In Census, timeTo, UN Unstereotype Alliance, Creative Equals, IPA, ISBA, Ad Association.

To find out more about WACL read our FAQs

What’s next for WACL

2023 is WACL’s Centenary year. We’ve come along way over the last 100 years and we have big ambitions for the future.

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