The celebrations to mark WACL100 would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. From all of us at WACL, thank you for your incredible generosity.
Celebrating 100 years of women in advertising & communications leadership
2023 is WACL’s Centenary year
WACL has a rich 100 year history of championing gender equality in advertising and communications, set against the fascinating backdrop of the 20th Century.
In our centenary year, we will be remembering the industry trailblazers who founded WACL and their impact on the industry. We will be looking to the future with a campaign to ensure better representation of women in advertising. And we will – of course – be finding time to capture the collective wisdom of the brilliant women in WACL and celebrate with a party or two…
WACL is founded. First President is Marion Jean Lyon, the advertising manager of Punch, Britain’s pre-eminent satirical magazine.
Ethel Wood, a Renaissance woman of “wide interests, boundless energy and a diverse network”, and with an OBE for her work on the 1917 Pensions Committee, becomes third President.
WACL founder member Jessie Reynolds, becomes the first woman advertising agency director in this country and the first woman President of NABS.
“I never think of men and women in separate categories… whoever does the job best can have it.” William Crawford, London’s most influential adman, lays down a progressive marker.
Margaret Havinden (nee Sangster), who was at the forefront of the boom in fashion advertising, becomes President.
At an Extraordinary General Meeting, WACL members vote to continue despite the outbreak of war – with a new focus on charitable work.
Audrey Deans and Amy Pearce (pictured), both WACL Presidents, lobby MPs on a range of social justice issues, including a campaign for equal pay
Mary Gowing becomes President. She created services recruitment campaigns, then, after the war, ads for the nascent NHS.
Pioneering adwoman Olive Hirst (in 1950 the first woman Managing Director of a leading advertising agency, Sells) is elected WACL President.
Iris Franklin, President in 1961-62, was hugely influential. She was an IPA and Institute of Directors Fellow, a Freeman of the City of London and treasurer of NABS.
WACL President Patricia Mann OBE, publishes a WACL sponsored book: “150 Careers in Advertising, with equal opportunities for men and women”
The entire WACL membership attends a dinner at 10 Downing Street, hosted by the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
WACL introduces Honorary Memberships – the first is legendary consumer magazine magician, Joan Barrell, ex IPC and Nat Mags.
A ground-breaking study, “Women in Advertising,” produced by Saatchi & Saatchi’s Director of Planning and WACL member, Marilyn Baxter, is published
Carol Reay, WACL President and the first woman to have her name above the door of an ad agency, Mellors Reay & Partners
WACL’s first ever conference, held at the ICA, promoted under a “Making the Most of Your Career” strapline, it featured a glittering array of speakers including WACL’s Stevie Spring
Debbie Klein (a WACL President later in the decade) produces “Women in Advertising: Ten Years on” a follow-up to Marilyn Baxter’s report.
Launch of WACL’s Future Leaders Award. Overseen by Tess Alps in her Presidential year (and now The Talent Awards), the scheme gives bursaries to promising women for training.
Multi-awarded creative and WACL member Rosie Arnold becomes D&AD’s first female President since its launch in 1962.
WACL launches a NED and trustee scheme, run by Francesca Ecsery. Members come together to hear from experienced NEDs and search consultants.
In a landmark article for Campaign, President Kerry Glazer reveals that, following a membership vote WACL is to become a more overtly campaigning organisation.
A collaboration between WACL, the Advertising Association and NABS, backed by the IPA and ISBA, leads to timeTo, an initiative combatting sexual harassment in advertising and marketing.
President Rania Robinson and WACL’s members, now almost 300 strong, will celebrate the club’s centenary with a campaign, events, endorsements from patrons, podcasts and more.
Explore more about WACL 100
Meet our sponsors
A proud sponsor committed to building an advertising and media environment where, from script to screen, everyone sees themselves represented.
Progress toward gender equity is progress for all. We’re working to enable billions to reach their full potential so we’re proud to build on our long-standing support for WACL and sponsor the WACL100 celebrations in this way.
We’re passionate about creating an inclusive workplace, supporting women to make working life easier, wherever they are in the business and whatever their goals. Our role as an employer and an advertiser is to celebrate diversity. We help female colleagues to network, develop, balance work and home life and we ensure that we champion all women in our advertising to counter stereotypes.
Whalar is a global creator commerce company that unleashes the full potential of creators, brands, and the world’s leading social platforms to engage, inspire, and activate communities around the world to drive growth for everyone.
Elias Audio Branding, a division of Universal Production Music, is a pioneer in audio branding and has created some of the industry’s top performing audio identities including Columbia Pictures and Honda. Elias is thrilled to have partnered with WACL to help bring the organisation’s values to life through sound.