Top Tips from 2015’s WACL Future Leaders

The Future Leaders Award (FLA) is aimed at early and mid-career women who have high potential but may be in danger of not making the next step up to the senior level.

FLA offers individually-designed training bursaries of up to 75% to a maximum contribution of £2,250 to women who can demonstrate high potential for senior leadership roles, acting as role models for other women.

Below you can read a few of last year’s winners of the prestigious award’s top tips for applying and getting to that all-important interview stage:


Kelly Stephen, Senior B2B Marketing Communications Manager, Barclays

My advice for completing the application?  Don’t leave it to the last minute.

  1. You’ll need thinking time to decide what you really want to achieve, and the course you’ll need to help you get there
  2. time to put pen to paper
  3. time to share your application with others to get their input too

Looking back at my form a year on it’s a true reflection of me – the whole me – my journey, my story. Not just ‘work me’. And it talks in a very frank and honest way. Use the form to really represent who you are and the impact the course will have on the future you.


Gina Hood, Account Director, Karmarama

Top tip for application:

Think about the impact your course will have not only on you, but also how it will benefit others. One of the key missions behind the FLA – and WACL as a whole – is using the power of the community to support and nurture everyone’s talents. By being given the opportunity to undertake training to better yourself, you also have a responsibility to pass this on wherever you can. Explain how you think this could happen in your particular case, and why by being awarded the bursary you’ll be able to bring others up along with you on your career journey.

My experience:

The main impact the WACL FLA has had is to boost my confidence, and in tandem inspire me to support other women wherever possible. In winning the award in the first place, it made me feel that I had a perspective on leadership that was worthwhile sharing with the world, and secondly the course I undertook directly tackled some of the issues I had faced in lacking confidence in myself.

The training I chose was a RADA initiative designed to support women in a working environment: particularly with regard to challenges linked to gender. This was something that was so much more valuable for me than a traditional knowledge-based course as it focused on addressing overall behaviours and attitudes that can have such a large effect every day.

The confidence I developed as a result enabled me to take a much more active role in tackling issues I saw in our industry: inspiring me to become involved with several networks, put on events focused on at gender issues and challenges, and be proud of having a voice with other women.


Rowena Johnson, Global Digital Director, MediaCom

I have 3 pieces of advice for anyone wanting to apply for this year’s FLA award:

  1. Just do it! This opportunity has peaked your interest for a reason. Less thinking, more action.
  2. Pick a course that you are passionate about and be clear on how it will benefit your career progression. What skill will it add to your bow and why is that important for your development and thus beneficial to your company?

And lastly

  1. Enjoy it. It is not often you get an opportunity to talk about your achievements and ambitions to such an esteemed group of leaders in Advertising. Be prepped but always be yourself.

Charlotte Ryder, Account Director, Good Relations

To anyone considering applying to be a WACL Future Leader I would say, stop thinking and start doing. Put aside your ‘this could be me’ attitude, and adopt a ‘this will be me’ approach. That optimism and positive thinking will propel you forward into an opportunity where you can rub shoulders with some of the best and brightest of the industry. But remember that you only get out what you put in, so make sure you’re ready to give it your all.


Apply for the WACL Future Leader’s Award by downloading the application form and returning it to us by 14th October 2016. Find out more about the award on WACL’s website

About WACL

WACL is a club for the most influential women in the UK communications industry. Established in 1923 by a handful of pioneering women, WACL members represent many of the most senior women in client organisations, media owners, advertising and media agencies.


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