Next Creative Leaders 2018

By The 3% Conference & The One Club on Nov 06, 2018

From the 2018 Midterm Elections to the #MeToo movement, the whole world seems to be talking about the importance of women having a seat at the table. But what we don’t talk about nearly enough is what women bring to the table when we actually get there.

Next Creative Leaders has never been your average creative honor. It was born out of a need to highlight leadership through a woman’s lens. And it was crafted, thoughtfully, to achieve different things than a One Show Pencil, an ADC Cube, or even a 30 under 30 nod. We didn’t just want to give deserving women a platform to be seen as the unique leaders they are, we wanted to give other women — and all aspiring creatives — the chance to see themselves in the Next Creative Leaders’ wins, losses and journeys that brought them into the global spotlight. This very article is designed to showcase what these incredible women bring to the table, so that we can celebrate it, discuss it, learn from it and be inspired by it.

Like all women in a male dominated industry, the 2018 Next Creative Leaders bring something to the table that the 97% do not. They bring “otherness” to a sea of sameness. And they bring a POV that our work and our world needs more of:

  • They bring optimism, humility, empathy and diversity.
  • They bring their experience as immigrants.
  • They bring a truly global POV, hailing from Sudan, Lebanon, India, Sydney, Argentina, Sweden, Canada and the US.
  • They bring initiative — and initiatives — aimed at changing the (once male) face of advertising.
  • They bring beautiful work that makes us laugh, cry and think.
  • They bring their badass coworkers — a trio of them are colleagues at Droga5.
  • They bring wisdom, generosity, perseverance and humanity.
  • They bring a fighting spirit when it comes to equality...
  • And they bring a genuine desire to change the world as we know it.

As the old adage says, the ones who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world are the ones who actually do.

Something tells me, these ten Next Creative Leaders will.

Click on the headshots to read more about each of our winners.



Article and interviews by Laurel Stark Akman, Next Creative Leaders Co-Founder and Creative Director at Firewood.

Article art by Bitna "B" Hu-Russo, Associate Creative Director at Firewood.

Learn more about Next Creative Leaders, our initiative with The 3% Conference, by visiting

Nedal Ahmed Lama Bawadi Maddy Kramer
Julie Matheny Mietta McFarlane Krystle Mullin
Evelina Ronnung Jessica Shriftman Gayatri Sriram
  Lizzie Wilson  


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