Wacl has awarded bursaries to 31 women to pursue further training as part of its Future Leaders Award.
Adam & Eve/DDB account director Kathryn Gooding, Dentsu Aegis Network client director Sangeetha Mahadevan and People of Culture Collective founder and executive producer Nana Bempah are among the winners, who will receive up to £3,000 each towards training opportunities to help them achieve their career goals.
The programme, which is in partnership with Nabs, encourages talented women to reflect on and prioritise areas of their development in order to accelerate their careers and achieve their full potential.
This year, the winners were selected from 230 applicants. The Future Leaders Award committee was chaired by AAR chief executive Victoria Fox, who said self-reflection was increasingly evident in application forms.
"This year, we saw more people than ever before in self-reflective mode, taking a lot of time and thought to fill out our application form. The Future Leaders Award application process is a self-reflective one, prompting applicants to evaluate if they’re on the right path – one that enables them to fulfil their potential," Fox said.
Each year, Wacl hands the Patricia Mann Award to one or two exceptional winners who champion change and challenge the status quo in order to support other women.
For being "pioneers who lit up the room", Debbie Phillips, head of campaigns and regional media at the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Michaella Williams, associate director at Generation Media, are this year’s recipients.
Fox said: "Debbie and Michaella stood out with their contrasting stories of resilience and focus. With future leaders like this in the industry, we should be excited about what’s to come."
Through the programme, which was started by Wacl member Tess Alps in 2005, more than £300,000 in bursaries has been awarded to about 200 women over the past 15 years.
Winners are also welcomed into the Futures Network, which offers support, mentoring and events, as well as sponsored membership to the Chartered Management Institution, for the alumni.