Your questions answered

About WACL

What does WACL stand for?

WACL stands for Women in Advertising and Communications Leadership. We started life, in 1923, as the Women’s Advertising Club of London, but since then we have changed the name of the Club to reflect the growing diversity of roles within the industry and the responsibility of our members as senior leaders.

Why does WACL exist?

WACL’s purpose is to accelerate gender equality in the advertising and communications industry. While the industry as a whole is gender-balanced, at senior levels women are still very much in a minority. We want to address this inequality and we do so by supporting each other as leaders, inspiring emerging female talent and campaigning for change.

What does WACL do?

WACL’s activities range from providing social and networking events for members, to offering training bursaries (the WACL Talent Awards) to emerging talent, to campaigning on issues like sexual harassment in the workplace, flexible working and the reinstatement of the gender pay gap.

How old is WACL?

WACL was founded in 1923 as the Women’s Advertising Club of London.

Does WACL give money to charity?

Any profit that WACL makes from its activities is used to support two charities:

NABs, which supports people in the advertising and communications industry, helping them with issues like redundancy and mental health and running the timeTo (sexual harassment) helpline.

The WACL Talent Awards, our initiative to help the next generation of talent realise their leadership potential by offering around 30 training bursaries per year.

About membership

Who can join WACL?

WACL is a membership organisation for female senior leaders in the advertising and communications industry. Members have generally spent at least 3 years in a senior leadership position in a client organisation, agency, media owner or trade body and can demonstrate how they use their seniority and influence to support women and gender equality.

What sort of people are members of WACL?

WACL members are drawn from all areas of the advertising and communications industry. We are lucky enough to count Dame Carolyn McCall (CEO, ITV), Karen Blackett (WPP UK Country Manager and CEO, Group M), Justine Roberts (Founder, Mumsnet), Alessandra Bellini (CCO, Tesco PLC) among our members, as well as many others in senior marketing or advertising roles in some of the UK’s best known companies and agencies. WACL members include 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) and many of those at the forefront of progressive change within the industy today, including the likes of Chaka Sobhani (CCO Leo Burnett) and Nana Bempah (founder, POCC).

How can I join WACL?

We welcome applications from women across the industry and we usually have one or two application windows each year, (November and February). To apply you need to complete an application form and be sponsored by two existing members. Your application will then be reviewed by our membership committee.

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