Cera Ward, country manager of Google has won this year’s IAPI Doyenne Award. Now in its third year, the IAPI Doyenne Award recognises women leaders working in advertising, media sales and PR. The initiative runs as part of the many international events for International Women’s Day and puts the spotlight on gender imbalance in an industry where just 18% of women from IAPI member agencies are at senior management level.
According to Colin Gordon, CEO of Glanbia “Cera’s career to-date lives to her own mantra – ‘do something regularly that scares me!’, except that, scared or not, Cera’s ability to work with clients, to lead such a highly regarded team and to continuously work to improve the role of women in the advertising space all point to a genuine Doyenne. The judges were unanimous in choosing her as our 2016 winner.”
The IAPI Doyenne Special Recognition Award this year went to Michelle O’ Keefe, managing director of Electric Media Group, for “her entrepreneurial leadership skills and her visionary thinking.” According to the judges “ Michelle deserves special recognition for her entrepreneurial approach, not only establishing a highly successful company but also winning several blue chip accounts and active involvement in the industry through training, lecturing and steering industry initiatives.”
Elsewhere the winner of the Rising Star Award went to Aideen O’Neill, head of activations at Verve. Currently leading a team of 20, she has “standout collaboration skills which has resulted in her doubling her department size and turnover and a seat on the Verve management team.” Colin Gordon adds: “Aideen shows all the attributes of a Rising Star in the Irish advertising industry. She has developed, and retained in large part, a significant team, successfully winning new business and she actively participates in industry issues and initiatives. She is not only a rising star but also a true leader of people, conscious of how to work best with her team while keeping a strong focus on her client. ”
According to Orlaith Blaney, one of the judges and former president of IAPI: “Having been involved in IAPI Doyenne from the very outset, I was thrilled to see we are still attracting an incredible calibre of female leaders as applicants in both categories. The standard was one of the highest I’ve seen and it was brilliant to see such excellent leadership. Our industry’s future is in very safe hands if these women continue to lead and inspire like they are doing today. I am absolutely adamant that the future and success of business depends on diversity.”