6̶8̶ 109 female strategists to watch out for 🔥

A few days ago, we asked on Twitter and LinkedIn: who’s a promising female strategist you know? And what do you love about their way of thinking or working? We know strategists tend to be quite supportive of each other, but we were humbled by the hundreds of responses we got back. So in alphabetical(ish) order, here are the most thoughtful recommendations we’ve received.

Addie Oscher- my incredible colleague who translates the most complex tech jargon into thoughtful, human fuelled insights to inspire effective creative with global effectiveness.”

Alana King – quite possibly the best planner i've had the fortune of tag teaming with, equal parts sensible and nice and authoritative (when needed)”

Alissa Allen: purposeful sifter of cultural triggers and signals“

Alison Goldsmith has an extraordinary knowledge of the science behind advertising and how to translate that into the creative work”

Alessandra Mariani A delight to work with! Alessandra is the driving force behind the programme to attract young, future Strategists into the business. She is thorough, committed and amazingly creative.- and brings her Italian passion to everything she does!”

Alexandra Branzan – relentless pursuer of dreams and getting sh1t done”

"Alice Chau a continuous ‘we can do this’ attitude, with passion and empathy”

Angela Duffy, Jossy Pilgrim and Annie Lancaster - inspiring, strong women, personally and professionally. They make our job seem so easy and natural. So in touch with both business and consumer truth. Lucky who crosses their path.”

Angelina Radjenovic is fairly hardcore.”

Anna Jenkins - she is a good listener and always strives to help others“

Archana Mahadevan is literally who I want to be when I grow up. Not only a terrific strategist but also a great manager! In a world of such tremendous disparity in authority figures and everyday doers; she leads by demonstrating a great balance of grit and integrity.”

Betsy Liegey + Kelsey Ellefson + Amber Horsburgh + Emma Fitzpatrick + Nicola Eliot + Eléonore Glowinski-Xu + Kristen Ablamsky So many different levels and specialties but all are incredibly dynamic thinkers who can solve complex problems, give information freely and are real thought leaders and are fabulous collaborators. So grateful to know and have worked with all. :)”

Brenna Tharnstrom great thinker who brings an amazing empathetic view to the discipline of planning”

Brigitte Bayard - insightful, always clear and ever surprising. Australian, she’s won: Planning Idol, the Grand Prix Effie and the Grand Prix APG Creative Planning Award. She loves good creative with gusto.”

Camila Toro Londono for her contagious passion and curiosity, her obsession with how people’s brains work and her drive. She’s a real fighter!”

Carolyn Khoo – amazing creative attitude and resourcefulness”

Channing Jones is a problem solver, period. Whether its brand or business or comms strategy she's got the skills to figure it out and hyper dedicated to finding solutions that are smart and thorough. Hands down one of the best I have worked with.”

Chelsea Thompson-O'Brien - she has such a brilliant mind because of her passion and need to do good in the world. Always love our conversations and feel like a slightly improved human being after every one of them.”

Claire Strickett – incredible depth of thought and cultural baggage”

Clémence just did a fantastic panel on sustainable fashion, also one of the strategists on Audi at BBH”

“I've had the pleasure of working with Charlotte Willcocks for just over a year now. She's got a whip sharp mind, a wicked sense of humour, and knows more about how people use the internet than anyone really should. A+.“

Corin Barnett so, so smart and lovely to work with! Her thinking always moved the team further along.”

Cristina Artiz and Julia Andohr are both superstars and two of the best thinkers I've had the pleasure of working with. Smart, relentless, creative and considerate - they deliver above and beyond every time. Total badasses.”

Cynthia Nwalozie Great mind full of radical ideas sure to make you stop and jaw drop.”

“My fellow Daphné Cartron, just out of school but such a bright mind, a raw diamond that is brilliantly working out her path through all the strategist lessons with humility and a kickass strength.”

“All of the below for their lateral thinking, understanding of culture and brilliant presenting skills from their pitches at the Planning Academy Diamond A., Alexa Mackie, Sophie Spence

Donna Herron - Girl boss 👊 Always thinking about the bigger picture not just what role social plays. Asks all the right questions and isn't afraid to challenge something she doesn't think is quite right for the client or the brief!”

Eloise Liley - Aussie thinker in London. Never seen her fail to deliver anything but brilliance.”

Emilie Riis and Amy Nicholson are among the most inspiring female strategists I have had the pleasure to work with. Critical thinkers, empathetic and extremely hard working.”

Emily Goldhill is one of the most empathetic strategists I’ve met”

Eneyi Obi Brilliant woman with a knack for perfect story telling, great thinker too! Big brain in a small body, after all good things do come in small packages, don't they?”

Essi Nurminen - incredibly switched on, brings rigour to social strategy, truly cares about effectiveness. nailing it.”

Fatmatta Sesay - her attitude, work ethic and general awesomeness!”

“Has to be Florence Gilbey and Caileen Macara Hogg - Flo's knowledge is honestly breathtaking, her curiosity on all manner of topics is SO impressive and she is an absolute dream to collaborate with. Caileen's ability to turn ANY subject matter into something completely consumer friendly and sellable is something to behold, twinned with her impeccable eye for creative and design, she's a bloody powerhouse.”

Flo Sayers - Proof you don't have to be a loud, alpha type to get your strategies listened to by senior AF people. Internally she has always put great emphasis on making sure the team is working well together vs JUST delivering great work (something even the most clever strategist can overlook but which is vital to a positive and collaborative culture).”

Fran Griffin – she always asks the right questions and never ever gives up on making something better. And she always brings people on the journey with her. If she believes in it, you'll believe in it.”

“I want to give a shout to Gloria Cheng here :) Super smart, humble and curious strategist!”

Hannah. Treasure: writer/designer/culture whisperer with the gift of honing in on heart of issue+ brilliant”

Helen Donald fits the bill! Love that she strikes the balance between commercial acumen and customer-centricity in all of her strategic engagements and she is a full time working mother of two small boys to boot!”

Irene Elizalde is one of the most focused planners I’ve had the chance to work with. She is resourceful, calm and thinks laterally. And she is incredibly nice to work with.”

Jennifer M. Chang and Tiffany Jyang - soulful strategists, critical thinkers, keen observationists, razor sharp writers”

Jessica McCarthy - Amazingly bright and super knowledgeable.”

Julie Naidu hasn't let anything stand in her way to becoming a great planner”

Kate Greenstock. Completely inspiration and admirable. Translates the most complex problem to it's simplest form, taking onboard everyone's opinions and always with a fun and positive vibe!  “

Kate McElroy - super smart, articulate and interesting. She was a pleasure to work with and always made me smarter.”

Katie Rubin - Effective communicator, thinker. A real collaborator.”

Kelsey Steele makes advertising better by just working in it.”

Kim Hartmann for sure ! She is as sweet inside as she is sharp with the words, critical with the thoughts, clever and uplifting. She knows how to twist a brief and explain any issue in a crystal clear way. Icing on the cake, she is a great team partner and a cheerful colleague you can always count on !”

Lais Tavares intelligent. Motivated. Lovingly friendly. Makes everything better.”

Lilian Sor: because she makes things happen. She's sharp, straight to the point, and capable of moving the work forward rapidly.”

Lisa Richards for being not only super smart but for being completely unflappable, a fabulous sounding board and a cracking collaborator. And she’s funny.”

Lisa Talia Moretti – wouldn't say "promising" as much as "quite accomplished badass woman in tech and ethics and strategy and asking all sorts of right questions", but hey close enough”

Lyndsey Westfall - a strong thinker who goes above and beyond to gather data and connect dots, while being connected to what's happening in culture.”

“Check out Mafê Villas Bôas, who has great energy and passion — and still always manages to bring the heavy lumber in her strategy work.”

Manon Bellon super clever and questions everything! so good to have her on our team!”

Marina Glavan - I’ve always admired her drive and determination. “Half-ass” is not a term she knows. From showing you the ropes to watching you fly... I can’t wait to see how much you soar in your career! A future industry with you in it is one I look forward to.”

“Without question Marisa Moody 🥰 Totally sets the standard for young women climbing the strategy ladder, especially in the tech/B2B space.”

Marta Seruya, a very clever and intuitive person, with the perfect mix of great knowledge, enormous curiosity and creative sensibility.”

Mary Lumley for being mere months into her planning career but already brilliant, unendingly curious and a joy to chat stuff through with.”

Megan Jones integrates wider thinking into every brief - far beyond the client's expectations. Looking directly from consumer POV and what that means for how brands are able to communicate with them. Challenging briefs with confidence and expertise - one to watch for sure!  ..... And uses play dough in brainstorms, what's not to love!

Meghan McCollum led a strategy that won a Jay Chiat award just a few years into her agency career and continues to impress today with a highly creative and empathetic approach to planning. She consistently exceeds expectations and is a joy to work with!”

“None better than Milla Stolte - she's got an incredible ability to understand culture and create solutions that make brands stand for something real”

Monika Prokop for staying true to truths.”

Naja Bomani one-half designer, one-half planner. She is a rare breed of talent who was able to write her own future and job role”

Natalie Kim for breaking down what roles are to people entering the industry, championing the value of young talent (and appropriately training them) and getting them hooked up with the right opportunities via We Are Next - ad strategy is a tough field that caters to senior leadership but Natalie helps give context to those interested but with little experience, then helps get them that experience.”

Nayantara Dutta is a force of nature, where no challenge is too big! Her positive energy is infectious”

Nicole Ingra - Incredible can do attitude. Never respected hierarchy and always spoke her mind - something that always went down well when she worked with us. Shy is an absolute antonym to her. You could throw Nicole in a tank of sharks and she'd have a chat with all of them before she climbed out. (But beware of throwing her anywhere - suspect you'd get a fist to the face)”

“I vote Oli K. who has diverse international perspectives and informed mindset. A refreshing change from the traditional London-based strategy community. Based at Maverick whilst simultaneously on a mission to "crumble the patriarchy" with gingerbread.”

Olivia Hedman – challenges the 'norm' by mixing an acute style of thinking grounded in real research with real people and a healthy dose of cynicism. STELLAR!”

Olivia Poglianich the global planner who is not afraid to travel to the end of the world to find her next role”

Olivia Stancombe, is exactly what you're looking for. She's incredibly smart and open-minded in her thinking. She puts her heart into all her projects and actively works towards a more diverse and equal industry. Can't recommend her enough for something like this.”

Perla Bloom for her unwavering, tenacious, bold attitude to creative strategy. Coming from a data background, her attention to detail is second to none and she consistently attacks the brief with razor sharp rigour. She's also bilingual (awesome) and bloody hilarious to work with.”

Rachel Benner. Strategist who looks at problem from multiple angles, intellectualises her approach. Details, organized, on point t/out process, amazing human+brave brave brave”

Rocio Galan is an extremely talented and promising strategist. She has an analytical and business mindset, with the ability to articulate actionable insights to clients within the context of their business. Her B.B.A in Strategic Design and Management has given her the perfect mix of design, strategy, and creative skills.”

Rosie McFarlane: capable of bringing to life big and complicated architectures in the simplest way possible.”

Ruby Gurdon considered, passionate and incredibly capable.”

Sara Qasemzahi Is a wonderful force that isn’t afraid of questioning ways of thinking and acting to the benefit of the greater group and the world we live in. Sara is a true leader of change! ❤️”

Sarah Oberman - I'm quite sorry that I couldn't work with her longer... and seeing how she skyrocketed through the ranks at Grey - I think that I'm not the only one who thinks so.  She's really smart, has quite the dedication, will tell you the truth, not just what you want to hear, and has more resilience than most. Count yourself lucky if you work with her.”

Sarah Poluha is an incredible thinker and partner who can become an expert on a topic in record time, and has a natural empathy for others that makes her both a great strategist and a great leader.”

Séverine Bavon: because of willing she is to stand up for what she thinks is right, something I deeply admire in individuals.”

“A shout out to Sharmin Rashed, who never fails to go beyond the brief with her thinking and lateral approaches.”

Shona Read - infinitely smarter than me, love working with her!”

“I also worship Sidney Henne and I will for the rest of my life - don’t get me started on her Trojan work!”

Silvia Scherini: a great planner, so good she actually managed to transition in a business-lead position, something that doesn't happen often (especially in Italy).”

Simin Radmanesh, wonderfully original and thoughtful with powerful cultural antennae, and injects fun into every project. Beyond promising - she’s walked the talk many times.”

Shelina Taki: a brilliant and inspiring strategic thinker.”

Sophy Vanner Critoph and Caroline Tester - I had the genuine pleasure of working with them in a previous agency. Sophy - a passionate and empathetic woman who simply 'owns it' and has the ability to sell strategy in with simplicity and conviction.  Caroline - a diligent and thoughtful strategist who continually questions things until she arrives at new and exciting solutions. I miss working with both of them!”

“Look no farther than Sumner Payne. She has such a talent for finding the humanity in a trough full of data. And she has a ton of confidence when presenting to clients. She's the real deal.”

Tiffany Mondesir – she finds parts of the internet i had never even dreamed existed, and that's a pretty badass skill (plus has great MCU kung fu)”

Ulka Jassal - smart, articulate, considered and super calm and collected regardless of what gets thrown at her.”

“I think Vanessa Quincey is in the category of brilliant Aussie planners who I’d dream to work for someday”

Virginia Bailey as she is an agile thinker and worker, extremely good people person and buckets of integrity that helps build an awesome professional and personal network that can help bring a vision/ strategy to life i.e. National Partnership with Scouts, London Youth and leadership on Muslim Girls Fence project! Such clear values and love that she is always on message, influencing even when she is not aware and up for challenging conversations but always with the most respectfully intent of joining up the dots and working towards a goal. She's a peer I admire and more people should know about her!”

“The brilliant Zanya needs to be on this list.”

Zoe McGee - throws herself enthusiastically into every project and brand problem. Not afraid to speak her mind no matter what the occasion.”

A huge thank you to everyone who kindly shared their recommendations. We love you.


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