Female Futures Fund

Despite steps towards gender parity being made in Ireland, it remains a big issue. One that inspired the Institute of Advertising Practitioners Ireland (IAPI) to create The Female Futures Fund in 2019. Sponsored by Diageo, this initiative empowers women in advertising, media, and communications to ascend into leadership roles. Now in its fifth year, it has gone from strength to strength to become one of the most well-established and respected professional development programmes in the industry. It addresses gender disparity by providing tools and strategies for female talent to excel in senior positions, fostering inclusivity and diversity within the industry.

What is innovative about this initiative?
This one-of-a-kind, innovative initiative not only empowers and equips women to excel, it provides them with a support network of peers, with team building, mentorship coaching and talks by inspirational female CEOs sharing their personal journey and experiences. Female employees from member agencies apply with a form and video submission showcasing their merit. Through interviews, 25 recipients are selected for intensive 3 day workshops with certified coach, Danica Murphy, founder of PRISM Leadership and Change consulting. Insights from Assessments and Testing including the PI test help them address challenges like imposter syndrome, conflict resolution, understanding individual leadership brand and voice.

The impact of this initiative has been both incredibly inspirational, and ever-growing. And this is evident in the achievements and progression of its participants: 2023 past participants survey. In 2023 alone, we saw a record 64 applications, up 34% from 2022, solidifying the initiative as a highly soughtafter professional development program. Within IAPI member agencies, females now have an equal say across executive management and make up 40% of the C-suite positions – a jump of 13% since 2018. These results reflect the program’s effectiveness in fostering professional growth and addressing industry needs.