IAPI have this week concluded the 2023 Female Futures Fund program — an annual collaboration between IAPI and Diageo now in its 4th successful year. This initiative is a dedicated effort to bridge the gender gap in leadership within our industry. Knowing the significant influence of gender representation on shaping societal perspectives, through this programme IAPI’s efforts are directed towards achieving equitable and fair representation within the marketing and advertising realm.

Throughout this transformative experience, 28 remarkably dedicated women delved into a curated program aimed at not just honing professional skills but shaping them into the leaders of the future. The sessions were once again facilitated by Danica Murphy, Director,Senior Leader, PRISM Leadership and Change consulting.

From navigating the intricacies of personal branding to addressing challenges in self-promotion and strategically building leadership brands, participants immersed themselves in thought-provoking sessions across three full day workshops over the last 3 months.

IAPI had a stellar line-up of guest speakers who helped us enrich this experience. Notable industry leaders like Sheila Cunningham, Baileys Global Head of Planning; and Alison Cowzer, Co-founder of East Coast Bakehouse provided invaluable insights drawn from their personal journeys.

The final workshop was concluded by a panel discussion with AnnMarie Phillips, Global Commercial Director, Diageo; Aoife McCleary, Senior Creative from F&B Huskies & IAPI Board Member; Emma Williams, Senior Director, Edelman and IAPI Board Member; Emma O'Doherty, Chief Client Officer, Mindshare and Laura Daley, Managing Director, Head of Growth, Folk Wunderman Thompson.

Their involvement elevated the discussions by offering a nuanced understanding of the specific challenges they navigated and the triumphant moments they experienced on their individual paths to success, providing invaluable insights for the recipients.

Special thanks to Anna Doyle,Board Director, Starcom & IAPI Board member; Sian Deegan, Global Content Manager, Diageo and Aine Kavanagh, Marketing Manager, Baileys Global, integral members of the IAPI Diageo partnership. Their efforts in facilitating these sessions and unwavering support played a pivotal role in the success of this year's program.

As the event concluded, participants expressed their gratitude and shared reflections on the impact of the Female Futures Fund experience.

Here is what some of the recipients had to say at the end of the programme:
Here is what some of the recipients had to say at the end of the programme:

“Being awarded a place in the prestigious Female Futures Fund Programme, I wasn't really sure what to expect. But what can I say. Surrounded by like-minded, talented peers, led by the wonderful Danica Murphy from Prism and with the wonderful support of Diageo and IAPI, I got more than I ever expected. I left the programme feeling empowered, inspired and with a new perspective of my value in the workplace. I would recommend anyone considering applying for the 2024 programme to just do it! You won't regret it” said Jennifer Monks, Director, Teneo

“The real magic of this course came from the people who were part of it – our amazing coach Danica, the fantastic guest speakers, and all the incredible women I’ve had the chance to meet and learn from. The tools, knowledge and connections made will undoubtedly impact my perspective, career, and ambitions for years to come, so a huge thank you to Danica, Diageo and the IAPI team for the opportunity” said Kim Comiskey, Strategic Planning Director, Folk Wunderman Thompson

“I’d heard fantastic things about the Female Futures Fund from past recipients, but even their stellar reviews couldn’t do the programme justice. The past three months have been so memorable, inspiring and empowering. The group of women I was lucky to be surrounded by are truly the future leaders of the industry, and with their support, encouragement and kindness, and the learnings we gained from Danica and our guest speakers, I’ve been able to reflect on my career so far and put actionable steps in place to fulfil potential I couldn’t see clearly in myself before.” said Rebekah Stacey, Senior Copywriter, Teneo

“Being surrounded by such intelligent and caring women gave me so much hope for the future of advertising” said Barbara Masson, Digital Designer, Havas

“I have never felt more empowered than I do now after completing the Female Futures Fund workshops. Surrounded by incredible women, I learnt so much about my industry and myself throughout the process. I feel I have the tools to stride forward with confidence into this next phase of my career. Danica and all of the inspirational speakers that we had the privilege of interacting with have left me with a sense of hunger, drive, and determination. And boy, do I have some amazing women alongside me on this journey, the class of 2023 have been a huge support and the definition of the word ‘team’. I am excited for what lies ahead for us all!” said Georgia Stevenson, Creative Producer, BBDO Dublin.

"The learnings garnered are invaluable, poised to carve a profound impact on my future. A heartfelt thank you to IAPI and Diageo for championing this transformative initiative, Danica Murphey, Prism, for her exceptional coaching, and dentsu for unwavering support in fuelling my ambitions. Shoutout to the incredible women I had the privilege of meeting during the program—your powerful stories have left an indelible mark on mine. Thank you for the inspiration and for being an integral part of this incredible journey!" said Kritika Verma, Account Director, Dentsu Ireland.

The Female Futures Fund programme stands as a testament to the commitment of IAPI and Diageo to champion diversity and inclusivity in the professional landscape. The programme has not just equipped these women with skills; it has fuelled a fire that will drive positive change and innovation in our industry. As these 28 exceptional women embark on their journeys, the impact of this program is sure to resonate in their careers and beyond.

The 2024 Female Futures Fund programme will be launched by IAPI early next year in celebration of International Women’s Day. For more information on the programme kindly get in touch with Shreesha Hegde, on shreesha@iapi.com