The Female Futures Fund is a unique opportunity for high potential females within the advertising, media and communications industry to win an executive coaching bursary worth €5,000 per candidate. IAPI are thrilled to be able to provide this with the generous support of our bursary sponsor Diageo.

The Bursary is a real landmark in our journey to improving the gender balance. Our industry has started to address this at leadership level with 38% of executive roles now taken by females according to the 2019 IAPI Census Report. Coaching is so empowering for women, particularly those in male dominated roles, where confidence seems to be the key barrier to their career progression.” Charley Stoney, CEO, IAPI said “This bursary is aimed at identifying women with huge potential in the advertising industry. However, we do not simply wish to award the already high achievers. We would like to recognise those who simply may not know how good they are yet and are therefore unwittingly holding themselves back from achieving their career goals. The ideal is to find two women who truly need to be given the extra boost of confidence to excel and so would benefit the most from this bursary.”

IAPI received 26 submissions and the high calibre of all the candidates was evident. The judging panel included Jill Walker, Executive Coach; Charley Stoney, CEO, IAPI; Charlotte Barker, IAPI Board member and Chair of Diversity & Inclusion Council; Grainne Wafer, Global Brand Director, Diageo and Mark Doyle, CMO, AIB. Gráinne Wafer is also joint lead of Diageo’s progressive gender portrayal programme globally and is the Diageo representative for the UNstereotype Alliance, a UN and industry wide platform which seeks to eradicate harmful gender-based stereotypes in advertising.

The six shortlisted candidates will present remotely via video call to the judges next week with the winners being announced on Friday 1st May. The two selected candidates will be able to avail of the Female Futures Fund. The bursary will fund 6 coaching sessions for each candidate with Jill Walker between June-December 2020.

Congratulations and best of luck to the final six shortlisted for the Female Futures Fund.

Female Futures Fund Shortlist
Female Futures Fund Shortlist


Business Director, Mediaworks

“Ciara’s exuberant personality and ability to make things happen really shone through her highly personal submission.”


Digital Performance Director, Omnicom Media Group

“From self-professed ‘nerd’ to leader, Claire really demonstrated her excellent team-building and client relationship skills.”


Strategic Planning Director, JWT Folk

“Her passion for consumer insights and the efforts she goes to glean these for her clients made Eimear’s case for her.”


Head of Design, The Public House

“Eimear’s ambition and ability to become a creative leader is evident, especially when so few senior women continue with a creative career.”


Head of Business Development, Verve

“Having already reached a senior level in her career, Jane’s clarity of thinking and understanding of what she needs for her own future development is unique.”


Group Strategy Director, Dentsu Aegis

“Meabh demonstrated, through her honest and compelling submission, that she has the potential to be a truly insightful leader.”