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The gender equality debate has reached boiling point many times this year, starting in January when some five million people took part in 673 worldwide Women's Marches, many protesting against Donald Trump's inauguration as US president.
In the last few weeks, meanwhile, Google's firing of employee James Damore for an "anti-diversity" memo in which he claimed that biological differences are the reason women aren't equally represented in tech and leadership roles, has brought the issue front of mind once more.
When events like this rock the world's media and reignite the gender debate all over again, we know that despite some progress, we still have a long way to go before balance is achieved. This is why we still need programmes such as the Women to Watch list we are publishing today in partnership with TBWA, which encourages people to champion the women who inspire and impress them on a daily basis. In our industry, we know this is particularly essential.
Here at Campaign Asia-Pacific we held our own debate on gender equality in the media and marketing world in March, bringing together hundreds of people from across the APAC region to try and move the conversation towards positive change after our survey with Kantar TNS revealed that some very real barriers to women's advancement still exist.
Our Women to Watch list is a celebration of the women dissolving those barriers through sheer force of will. These 40 professionals impressed our judging team with business results, client wins, original projects and creative work that out-performed all targets and clearly showed them to be people of indispensable value within their companies.
Every woman on the list, however, also stood out for going far beyond their contractual brief. These are women whose ability to see the bigger picture and determination to improve the world they live and work in has seen them overhaul ingrained systems, bringing together unwieldy sectors to work together for a common goal, whether that be gender equality, digital transformation or any other subject close to their hearts.
We hope you enjoy reading about them and, more importantly, adding them to your own radar: these are, without doubt, women to watch.
Women to Watch 2017 (in alphabetical order)
- Marianne Admardatine | Managing director, OPR Indonesia | Chief growth officer | Ogilvy and Mather | Indonesia
- Kate Alconga | Client services director | IdeasXMachina | Philippines
- Rebecca Bezzina | VP, managing director | R/GA | Australia
- Michelle Chan | Senior strategist | Digitas LBI | Hong Kong
- Lynette Chong | General manager | Phibious | Myanmar
- Sakshi Choudhary | Creative supervisor | OgilvyOne Worldwide | India:
- Brenda Chung | Global group account director | Grey Group | Singapore
- Stephanie Claxton | Head of sales | Teads.tv | Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Australia
- Papri Dev | MD, client strategy and regional operations | Zeno Group Asia | Singapore
- Kate Goddard | Lead producer | MediaMonks | Singapore
- Mia Hamilton | Creative director | The Red Republic | Australia
- Aliya Hasan | Head of strategy | Vizeum | Australia
- Thipayachand Hasdin | Chief client officer | BBDO Bangkok | Thailand
- Imogen Hewitt | Chief strategy officer, Havas Media Group, and joint executive strategy director, Havas Creative Group | Havas | Australia
- Bethany Hill | Programmatic planning director | PHD | Singapore
- Anisha Iyer | Head of digital strategy | Mindshare India
- Anjali Kapoor | Head of digital, APAC | Bloomberg Media | Hong Kong
- Klara Krok | Head of strategy Asia-Pacific | Joule | Singapore
- Nga Le | Project director | XLE Group | Vietnam
- Lydia Lee | Chief strategist | Weber Shandwick | China
- Emily Lim | Managing director | Lion & Lion | Malaysia
- Rebecca Liu | Director of communications | Publicis Communications | Greater China
- Aarti Lyall | Regional strategy director | AdParlor | Singapore
- Margi Lynn | Head of social and content marketing | Uber and UberEATS, APAC | Singapore
- Roshni Mahtani | Founder and CEO | Tickled Media | Singapore
- Anita Munro | Head of trading, APAC | Maxus | Singapore
- Selonica Nalawansa | Director | Publicis | Sri Lanka
- Cassie Ng Si Hui | Digital art director | Y&R | Malaysia
- Tan Nguyen | Managing director | TBWA\ Group | Vietnam
- Christine Park | Executive director, head of Edelman Digital Korea (brand and digital practice) | Edelman | Korea
- Brodie Reid | Group business director | Colenso BBDO | New Zealand
- Louise Romeo | Head of implementation and investment | Carat | Australia
- Phantom Shy | Lead data analyst | Amnet | Taiwan
- Angelyn Soh | Social media director | IPG Mediabrands | Philippines
- Sorada Sonprasit | Chief executive officer | Brilliant & Million | Thailand
- Namita Sopal | Group director | Carat Connect | Australia
- Satoko Takada | Creative director | McCann Tokyo | Japan
- Eugenia Tan | Managing director | Goodstuph | Singapore
- Bhavna Thapar | Director, consumer brands | Edelman | India
- Vivian Wang | CMO | iQIYI | China