International Women’s Day 2020, meet 100 trailblazers redefining the creative industry

  • Jesse Julien / OUIME
  • June Sarpong
  • Orsola de Castro
  • Olivia Knight
  • Zeinab Saleh
  • Christina Poku
  • Sarah Boris
  • Hasna Kourda
  • Vicki Maguire
  • Tracey Follows
  • Tiwirayi Magwenzi
  • Tess Redburn
At The Dots, International Women’s Day isn’t just a day – it’s a whole month! A time to take over the site and shine a light on the women and non-binary people redefining the creator landscape. For #IWD2020, we asked industry leaders to nominate the trailblazing women and non-binary people they think will redefine the creative and digital industries over the coming years.
The list we’ve put together is one that beams with brilliant, talented people and their dedication to positive change. Book them for speaking gigs, interview them, hire them, commision them and support them in any way you can. The list is accompanied by a takeover on The Dots – keep an eye out for dazzling projects by women and non-binary people here.
Together we can create a better and more diverse workplace, shaping a new creative industry for us all.
June Sarpong OBE
Director of creative diversity, BBC
June is a legendary British television broadcaster, who in 2019, was appointed as the BBC’s first ever director of creative diversity. A passionate speaker and vivacious individual committed to equality, June is also the author of the book Diversify: How to challenge inequality and why we should.

June’s nominations:
Karen Blackett, chair, MediaCom UK
Abadesi Osunade, founder, Hustle Crew
Nicole Crentsil, founder, BIG SIS & co-founder, Black Girl Fest
Tabitha Goldstaub, co-founder, CognitionX & Chair of the UK Government’s AI Council
Grace Gould, co-founder & CEO, Soda Says
Kate Moross
Illustrator, art director & designer
Since 2008, Kate’s vast, colourful portfolio of work, especially their iconic typography, has been a staple part of the contemporary creative world. In 2012, Kate founded Studio Moross, a London-based multidisciplinary design company as an expansion upon their own work and a way to collaborate with other creatives.

Kate’s nominations: Christina Poku, photographer & art director
Chiamaka Ojechi, freelance graphic designer & illustrator
Jesse Julien, designer, illustrator & art director
Alva Skog, illustrator
Anna Czuz, art director & graphic designer
Vanessa Kingori
Publishing director of British Vogue Vanessa joined British Vogue in 2017 – a time of reinvigoration for the publication after Edward Enniful’s appointment as editor-in-chief. With over a decade under her belt at Condé Nast and as the youngest person to become the publishing director, Vanessa has taken the fashion world by storm. Vanessa is also a visiting fellow for UAL and advises the Mayor of London on Brexit’s relationship with the media.

Vanessa’s nominations:
Eloise King, filmmaker, executive producer, director & founder, Women on Docs
Charlene Prempeh, founder, A Vibe Called Tech
Sharmadean Reid, founder, Beautystack & WAH Nails
Michelle Kennedy, co-founder & CEO, Peanut
Ellie Pithers, digital director, British Vogue
Emma Gannon
Author, broadcaster & podcast host A bestselling business author of The Multi-Hyphen Method, Emma has written for publications spanning The Guardian to MTV and ELLE. Emma is the host of the hit, award-winning podcast CTRL, ALT, DELETE – reaching over 5.5 million listeners in over 100 countries.
Emma’s Nominations:
Stephanie Yeboah, content creator & freelance journalist, Nerd about Town
Sophia Thakur, poet & author of Somebody Give This Heart a Pen
Ọrẹ Ogunbiyi, co-author of Taking Up Space & special assistant to the Vice President of Nigeria
Chelsea Kwakye, co-author of Taking Up Space
Mariam Khan, author, It's Not About The Burqa
Karen Blackett OBE
Country Head, WPP UK & CEO, GroupM
With over 25 years experience in marketing and communications, Karen is a shining icon in her field. Alongside working as the UK Country Manager for WPP, Karen is the Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth and a Trustee of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s charity foundation. In recent years, Karen has been featured on the UK's 100 most influential black women five times.
Karen’s nominations:
Amie Snow, creative, WPP & co-founder Ogilvy Roots
Yolanta Boti, creative, Ogilvy UK
Lisa Humphreys, UK strategy development director, WPP & Managing Partner, MediaCom
Mamaa Duker, UK business development manager & fellow, WPP
Georgia Lindsay, UK connections director, WPP
Vickie Hayward
Director at Company, Place
As the director for Company, Place, Vickie is an advocate for social purpose and extremely experienced in the sphere of culture. Previous roles include head of culture and programming for Atelier Ace – the in-house creative team at the Ace Hotel – and creative director at JaguarShoes Collective.

Vickie’s nominations:
Zaiba Jabbar, founder & director, Hervisions
Sabine Zetteler, founder & director, ZETTELER
Seetal Solanki, founder & director, Ma-tt-er
Melodie Leung, senior associate, Zaha Hadid
Loren Daye, founder, Studio LOVEISENOUGH
Sairah Ashman
Global CEO of Wolff Olins
Described as the perfect blend of maths and magic, Sairah Ashman is the Global CEO of creative consultancy Wolff Olins. On top of this, Sairah is an alumna of Harvard Business School and Goldsmiths University London, an active supporter of charitable The House of St Barnabas and a regular TEDx speaker.
Sairah’s nominations:
Emma Barratt, creative director, Wolff Olins
Gaylene Gould, creative director & cultural ambassador for London
Tammy Einav, CEO, adam&eveDDB
Jo Wallace, creative director, Wunderman Thompson & founder, Good Girls Eat Dinner
Sarah Drinkwater, director & lead, Tech and Society Solutions Lab
Nishma Robb
Marketing director at Google UK
Sales and marketing extraordinaire Nishma Robb spans experience in digital marketing to strategy and business management. As the previous chair of Women@Google, Nishma is often at the forefront of missions to inspire girls and women around the world in the fields of business, media and technology. When she’s not looking after her twins or at work, you’ll find her in sparkly shoes dancing to Lizzo.

Nishma’s nominations:
Vikki Ross, copy chief
Rebecca Rowntree, freelance creative director, AMV BBDO & founder, This Way Up Podcast
Sherry Collins, founder & editor, The Pitch Fanzine
Nimi Raja, freelance strategy director, co-founder, Rani by Raja
Christina Foster, brand marketing manager, Google
Orsola de Castro
Founder & creative director of Fashion Revolution
In this climate emergency, it’s people like Orsola de Castro that are not only changing outdated perceptions, but saving the world too. Orsola is a self-professed ‘Queen of Upcycling’ and the director of the innovative organisation Fashion Revolution, a global movement calling for a fairer, cleaner, more transparent fashion industry.

Orsola’s nominations:
Frances Corner, warden, Goldsmiths, University of London
Hasna Kourda, founder & CEO, Save Your Wardrobe
Cyndi Rhoades, founder & CEO, Worn Again Technologies
Celine Semaan, designer, advocate, writer & founder, Slow Factory & The Library Study Hall
Kenya Hunt, fashion director, Grazia UK
Baroness Lola Young, actress, author & chancellor of the University of Nottingham
Pip Jamieson
Founder & CEO of The Dots
Dubbed ‘The Next LinkedIn?’ By Forbes, The Dots is designed around the networking needs creators, professionals, freelancers and entrepreneurs. Pip has put helping business build diverse teams at the heart of The Dots’ mission and is an advocate for neurodiversity, openly discussing her dyslexia openly to inspire and inform.

Pip’s nominations:
Victoria Azubuike, founder, The Us Programme
Ali Hanan, founder, Creative Equals
Emma Case, founder, Women Beyond the Box
Robyn Sian Cusworth, writer
Celia Pool, co-founder, DAME

Community picks

This year, we also turned to the Dots community to nominate their trailblazers! By posting an ask in our Asks Hub, members put forward a myriad of fantastic people that deserve celebrating. Discover their top picks alongside our Asks Experts below!
Adah Parris, futurist, keynote speaker, performance artist & cultural strategist
Ade Onilude, founder & CEO, Women in Marketing
Alessandra Lariu, co-founder, SheSays
Alice Isaac, freelance image maker and animator
Amile Inusa, doctor, podcaster & creative strategist
Caterina Bianchini, founder, Studio Nari
Charlotte Simpson, global partnerships manager, Glug Events
Cindy Gallop, founder & former chair BBH US, founder IfWeRanTheWorld & MakeLoveNotPorn
Emma Sexton, founder, MYWW
Erin Aniker, freelance illustrator
Es Devlin, artist & stage designer
Fleur Emery, start-up expert & columnist, Courier Magazine
Gemma Greaves, chief executive, The Marketing Society
Harriet Hadley, community & diversity manager, eSynergy Solutions
Holly Tucker MBE, founder, Holly & Co
Imogen Forte, photographer
Jade Tomlin, creative director, Tribal DDB
Jane Evans, founder, The Uninvisibility Project
Katee Hui, strategist, Pentagram & founder, Hackney Laces
Kim Arazi, founder, Innosensi
Lamisa Khan, co-founder, Muslim Sisterhood
Laura Jordan Bambach, founder & CCO, Mr. President
Lisa Campana, head of design, Wunderman Thompson
Liv Little, founder & CEO, gal-dem
Liza Enebeis, creative director, Studio Dumbar
Lu Li, founder & CEO, Blooming Founders
Lucy Farrow, content and marketing manager, Wolff Olins
Marina Willer, partner, Pentagram
Melanie Eusebe, founder, Black British Business Awards
Mursal Hedayat, founder & CEO, Chatterbox
Nafisa Bakkar, co-founder & CEO, Amaliah
Nathalie Gordon, freelance creative lead, Pablo
Nicole Yershon, founder, The NY Collective
Olivia Knight, founder, Patchwork
Otegha Uwagba, founder, Women Who
Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture and design & director of research & development, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Paula Scher, partner, Pentagram
Priya Matadeen, managing director, Dazed Media
Roberta (Beta) Lucca, co-founder, Bossa Studios & angel investor
Roshni Goyate, co-founder & head of communications, The Other Box
Ruby Wight, creative lead: campaigns & partnerships, Burberry
Sarah Boris, creative director & owner, Sarah Boris
Sarah Ellis, co-founder, Amazing If & author, The Squiggly Career
Selina Bakkar, co-founder & COO, Amaliah
Sereena Abbassi, worldwide head of culture & inclusion, M&C Saatchi
Sophie Melissa, illustrator
Tess Redburn, art consultant & creative project manager
Tiwirayi Magwenzi, managing director & executive producer,
Tracey Follows, founder, Futuremade
Vicki Maguire, CCO, Havas
Zeinab Saleh, co-founder, Muslim Sisterhood
Zena Bruges, creative business consultant & non exec director