Enter our Talent Awards and see the difference it makes

WACL Gather 2019
WACL Gather 2019 ©BronacMcNeill

About the WACL Talent Awards

The WACL Talent Awards, in partnership with NABS, is a training grant scheme for emerging female leaders working in media, marketing, advertising and communications.

WACL’s purpose of accelerating gender equality for the benefit of all in our industry means we’re passionate about supporting as many emerging women leaders as possible. So we set up the WACL Talent Awards to foster great talent and support more women on their journey to leadership.

Each year we are proud to award grants to around 30 women to fund a training course they choose to support their leadership goals.

Why apply?

To benefit from a training bursary up to the value of £3,000

The process of entering the awards is a valuable learning experience in itself but if you are fortunate enough to be awarded a bursary you will also benefit from:

  • The chance to develop new skills for the future through a course you choose (up to £3,000)
  • Membership of the FUTURES network established and run by previous years’ winners of the awards. The network offers fantastic peer-to-peer support, learning events, mentoring and the opportunity to raise your industry profile.
  • A free 12 month membership with the CMI (Chartered Management Institute)
  • One free Amazing If workshop
  • An experience that helps accelerate your career (just take a look at some of our previous winners)
  • A prestigious award that will be recognised on your CV
Who can apply?

The WACL Talent Awards are open to all all ambitious and talented women in advertising and communications aspiring to achieve their leadership potential.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your background is – if you’re ambitious, want to make a difference and are motivated to succeed then you’re the perfect applicant for our awards

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Identify as a woman
  •  Be currently or most recently employed or engaged in the media, marketing, advertising and communications industry
  • Based in the UK
  • Have at least 3 years of industry experience
  • Be committed to a career within this industry
  • Have the application endorsed by your current/recent employer or sponsor
What are we looking for?

Here are five questions that will help you explore whether the WACL Talent Awards are right for you

1. Are you passionate about the media, marketing, advertising, and communications industry and can you share examples that bring this passion to life?

2. How will your chosen course stretch you beyond where you are today and why does it feel like the right opportunity for you and your career?

3. What examples can you share of supporting, growing and inspiring other women and tackling inclusion for all in the industry?

4. What have you achieved outside of your day job that you’re proud of (personally and professionally)?

5. What does being a leader mean to you and what are your leadership ambitions in the future?

Simply put, we want to hear the story of what sort of leader you are, how you inspire others and how you want to progress as a leader.



Key dates for your calendar

The awards are currently closed.

Our 2022/23 awards programme will be open for entries on 16th September.


What happens if my line manager won’t support my application?

A reference is still required, but it can be from someone else within a senior position at your company or a previous employer or sponsor.

What if I’m thinking of leaving?

You could speak to your future employer or a sponsor about endorsing your application. You do not need to be in employment to apply for the awards, but you need to be committed to a career in the Advertising and Communications industry.

What if I am on maternity leave?

Apply now! Contact your current employer about how they can support your application.

I live outside of the UK. Am I eligible?

To be eligible, the UK must be your primary residence, and you must have spent the majority of your career working within the UK Media, Marketing, Advertising and Communications industry.

Will the Interviews be in person?

We expect to offer in-person and virtual interviews to help make the process accessible to all. We will be following government guidance regarding social distancing and will confirm the plan for in-person interviews closer to the time.

Is my sector eligible?

We welcome applications from all industry sectors so long as your role is within media, marketing, advertising or communications, e.g. you would be eligible if you worked at a bank as Marketing Manager or worked on their paid search strategy but not if you worked in a bank within their HR function.

What is the Patricia Mann Award?

Each year we make a special award to one or more of the outstanding 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 in the industry. She was VP of JWT International & Head of External Affairs, one of the first women non-execs sitting on The Woolwich, British Gas, then Centrica and even Chaired the Parliamentary Debating Group. WACL’s values are inspired by how 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 with this award that embodies some of her spirits and can do for the women that follow what she did for us.

What is the Wendy Braverman Award?

Wendy Braverman was a leading light in the advertising industry for more than 3 decades. A champion of talent, a dedicated supporter of NABS and a long term active WACL member, Wendy sadly passed away in the summer of 2020.

The award is given to someone who the panel believe truly reflects Wendy’s entrepreneurial flair. As the overall awards are targeted at Future Leaders, this could be someone who is showing entrepreneurial initiative and ambition but needs the award to develop their skills further, or it could be someone who is running/starting to run their own small company like Wendy did or someone wanting to lead an initiative that would create change for other future women leaders.

Discover more

Find out about 2022’s Festival of Talent
Learn more about WACL’s mission
Support one of our campaigns to accelerate gender equality
Find out why WACL is supporting timeTo
Read more about why new leadership models are so important
Sign up to our mentoring programme with WACL Leaders
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