Staff Reporters
Jun 7, 2022

Women-speaker database for marcomms industry launches

Pass Her The Mic, a database of trained women speakers from major holding groups, will be publicly available in July.

Anna Soliman, Meta
Anna Soliman, Meta

Pass Her The Mic, a Meta-supported initiative, has launched to encourage agencies to nominate women speakers for industry events. As part of the programme, agencies are asked to nominate their best women speakers to be part of a database; some women may be offered advanced presentation skills training and executive coaching. As a bonus, it aims to provide community support by connecting women to a network.

So far, the initiative is in partnership with major holding companies including WPP, IPG, Publicis Groupe, Havas, Omnicom Media Group, and Dentsu.

Pass Her The Mic is the brainchild of Anna Soliman, agency development lead at Meta APAC. The idea sparked when she became increasingly frustrated by the difficulty of finding women speakers, an experience she shares with many event organisers.

“Despite making up half of the world’s population, women are still underrepresented in many parts of society, from technology to entertainment to the workplace,” said Soliman. “Conferences and speaking panels remain male-dominated.”

At Campaign Leading Change last week, Soliman said that only 30% of speakers of global conferences are women. This is in spite of the fact that there's a demand for it as 94% of the women in those same conferences say it's important to have other women in the lineup.

Jane Lin-Baden, managing partner APAC & CEO North Asia (Greater China, Japan, Korea), at Publicis Groupe, said that Pass Her The Mic ties in well with the group’s priorities to elevate its women talent and gives women in the industry a voice.

The database, which will be available from July onwards, will be publicly accessible and made up of 100 highly trained women ready to speak on the most in-demand business topics including technology, leadership, digital marketing, advertising, digital safety and privacy, finance and social good.

Andrea Calva, CFO, Havas Riverorchid Group, Cambodia, said that she feels a strong connection to the other speakers in the programme. “Even though we’re from different backgrounds and agencies, we all share a goal—to raise our voices so that other women will see that they can speak up too,” said Calva.

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