08 Mar 2018

Sharon Horgan and MJ Delaney Nominate Their Female Heroes for IWD

Originally Featured in By Selena Schleh on 8th March 2018.

Adlanders Nominate Their Female Heroes for IWD

We asked five of adland’s top female talents to choose their leading ladies – from Princess Mononoke to Amelia Earhart – for International Women’s Day.

Sharon Horgan, co-founder, Merman

My female hero has two heads.  Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. They made me want to work in comedy because they were the funniest people on television. Not the funniest women just the funniest people. A pair of brilliant head-bangers, hamming it up for laughs and just always looking like they were good pals having the best fun. Who wouldn’t want to do that?


MJ Delaney, Director

Princess Mononoke [the titular character in Miyazaki’s 1997 animated film] is the coolest environmentalist ever. She wears killer jewellery and furs and war paint and rides around on a giant wolf-god, brandishing knives and spears. Mononoke gives zero fucks – when we first meet her, her face is smeared with fresh blood from healing the wound of her wolf-god friend. She’s casually a fashion icon whilst primarily concerned with violently defending Mother Earth from the greedy, self-serving, profit-motivated forces trying to destroy it. We need more Mononokes in 2018.


Dame Cilla Snowball, group chairman/CEO, AMVBBDO

My female hero is the late Dame Helen Alexander, who died of cancer last summer. She lived a life of gentleness and integrity; performance -driven, values- led and emphatically family -first. She rose to the top of her profession quietly and modestly yet during her tenure at The Economist, profits soared and circulation doubled. She carried her success lightly. She was an ambassador for business, for working mothers and for humanity.

Laura Gregory, founder, Great Guns

Amelia Earhart, a wonderful aviator, author and a free spirit whose resting place has never been found. She was born in 1897 and disappeared on a flight in 1937. She was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross medal for flying solo across the Atlantic . In 1929 she formed The Ninety-Nines, an organisation to provide mentoring, networking for amateur and professional female pilots.  In 2018 there are now over 150 chapters of the Ninety-Nines.

Wendy Clark, CEO, DDB Worldwide

For me, a list of the most influential women would have to include Maya Angelou. One of the most powerful writers, orators and educators of our time, she used her personal story of triumph over tragedy as an enduring platform for renewal and hope. “If God put the rainbows right in the clouds themselves, each one of us in the direst and dullest and most dreaded and dreary moments can see a possibility of hope,” she said in a speech in 1997. “Each one of us has the chance to be a rainbow in somebody’s cloud.”