IAPI (The Institute of Advertising Practitioners) carried out a census of the ad industry in Ireland last year. One of the most startling findings was that women only make up 13% of boards in Ireland’s adland. This is compared to 22% in the UK.
The Doyenne award came from this finding and it aims is to promote women in the industry who have the ability to be future leaders.
So back in January I was challenged by some colleagues to enter. So I did. It took a little time and some soul searching to get over the fact that I would have to promote myself in front of some of our industries’ leaders. So after some thought I realised that self-promotion is something that I am not very comfortable with but then there was the fact that as a country, Irish people (men and women) are not really into it either. That helped a little, so I decided just to go for it and let the universe decide!
I made the shortlist with 6 others after my 500 word submission. Next up was a 10 minute presentation. I practiced my presentation trying hard to achieve the right level of confidence to impress the judges. When I left the room I realised I really enjoyed it and it was really nice to stop and reflect on my achievements too date.
On Wednesday, they announced I was a finalist. Leah O’Donoghue Account Director, Cawley Nea\TBWA was also named as a finalist with Estelle Gorby, international strategic director of Acorn Dublin named the winner. It was such a privilege to be named with these two talented and inspiring women.
So the reason for this post, it is to encourage other women in the industry to enter this award next year. I have had a couple of colleagues and friends question why there needs to be an award tailored for women in this day and age and believe me I asked myself the same question many times. For me it came down to the fact that 30 odd years ago in Ireland my Mom had to give up her career when she got married – so we have come a long way but there is still so much more to do to ensure the future men and women in advertising have many more female role models to aspire to.