About WACL

Melissa Robertson & Helen Calcraft, WACL 100 Wisdom Launch 8Feb2023, Photographer BronacMcNeill

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 nearly 300 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.

Leadership team
Past presidents
Allies
FAQs

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 (she/her)
Nishma Robb (she/her)

WACL President

Senior Director, Brand & Reputation Marketing

Google

Karen Stacey
Karen Stacey

WACL Vice President

Chief Executive Officer

Digital Cinema Media

Rania Robinson
Rania Robinson

WACL Ex President

Chief Executive Officer and Partner

Quiet Storm

Katie Lee (she/her)
Katie Lee (she/her)

WACL Hon Secretary

Chief Operating Officer

Wavemaker

Lori Meakin
Lori Meakin

WACL Hon Comms

Founder & Chief Executive Office

The Others & Me; Author of No More Menemies

Diana Tickell (she/her)
Diana Tickell (she/her)

WACL Hon Treasurer

Emma Shuldham (she/her)
Emma Shuldham (she/her)

WACL Hon Events Secretary

Managing Director

Attachment

Judith Salinson
Judith Salinson

WACL Fellows Committee

Lianre Robinson (she/her)
Lianre Robinson (she/her)

Chair WACL Campaigning Committee

General Manager (EMEA)

1021 Creative

Sera Holland (she/her)
Sera Holland (she/her)

Co-Chair WACL Campaigning Committee

Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Global Markets

Ketchum

Shelley Macintyre
Shelley Macintyre

WACL Talent Committee

Chief Marketing Officer

allplants

Sarah Parkes (she/her)
Sarah Parkes (she/her)

Co-Chair WACL Gala Committee

Chief Sales and Marketing Officer

Talon

Cat Davis
Cat Davis

Co-Chair WACL Gala Committee

Group Marketing Director

The MISSION Group PLC

Hanisha Kotecha (she/her)
Hanisha Kotecha (she/her)

WACL Wisdom Committee

Chief Client Officer

Creature London

Radha Davies (she/her)
Radha Davies (she/her)

Co-Chair WACL New Members Committee

Marketing Director – Brands, Communications & Creative

Sainsbury’s

Sarah Baumann (she/her)
Sarah Baumann (she/her)

Co-Chair WACL New Members Committee

Managing Director

Jungle Creations

Bella Vuillermoz (she/her)
Bella Vuillermoz (she/her)

WACL Talent Festival

Founder

Bella Vuillermoz Limited

Alex Goat (she/her)
Alex Goat (she/her)

WACL Talent Awards

Chief Executive Officer

Livity

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 organisations and campaigns that support our aim 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 we do

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

Support for WACL Leaders
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.

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. This year we are marking our anniversary through campaigns, a celebration of our history and a series of events featuring our high-profile patrons.

Delegates at WACL speed mentoring event

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