Home News IAPI’s Female Futures Fund Now Open for Applications

IAPI’s Female Futures Fund Now Open for Applications

Pictured: Grainne Wafer, Global Brand Director, Guinness

Applications for this year’s IAPI Female Futures Fund are now open.

Supported by Diageo, the 2021 Fund was launched this week on International Women’s Day and is designed to support high potential women working in the creative communications and media industry.

Given the ongoing lockdown restrictions, IAPI and Diageo have tweaked the format of this year’s programme by broadening the programme to provide coaching for 25 females.

“The objective of this leadership coaching bursary remains the same. It is designed to ensure that we retain our best female talent by helping women realise their full potential whilst also achieving a life balance that may include family and/or other lifestyle priorities,” says Stha Banks, head of social media, Core and D&I lead on the IAPI board.

“While we are definitely heading in the right direction with 38% of IAPI member leaders now being female, we still have a way to go in certain areas, particularly within senior creative roles. Our ambition is to close the gender gap at all levels,” she adds

The launch event for the 2021 Female Futures Fund saw  Grainne Wafer, global brand director, Guinness give an update about the work that Diageo is doing to promote diversity and inclusion within the group. She also presented some of the ground-breaking work that Diageo has undertaken to combat unconscious bias when planning, conceptualising, and executing marketing campaigns.

“We are delighted to work with IAPI again on this important initiative that is delivering a significant, positive impact on the careers of women in the creative industry in Ireland.” says Wafer.

“It is important to us that we work with partners that actively seek to improve diversity and that is particularly vital in our agency partners.”

Cormac Bourke, editor, Irish Independent and Independent.ie then shared his own challenges and asked questions of himself and the audience on how to reach true gender equality.  He drew parallels between the commercial creativity and media industry, both known for their creative, yet high-pressure working environment and, how the challenges faced by women in both sectors, are very similar.  Bourke added that the only way to make lasting progress is to face up to – and challenge – the practical obstacles to gender equality, particularly now, while we have already accepted new ways of working and are in a change mindset.

The talks were followed by a discussion among panellists that included: Jill Walker, Executive Coach who provided the leadership coaching for last year’s bursary recipients; Danica Murphy, Leadership Coach and Trainer, who will be managing this year’s programme and Eimear Fitzmaurice, Strategy Director, Folk Wunderman Thompson who was one of  the recipients of last year’s programme.   Stha Banks, Head of Social Media and D&I Lead on the IAPI Board moderated the discussion.

Applications for IAPI Female Futures Fund are now open.  To apply and to find out more about how the programme will operate, click HERE


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