Razia Pillay, IAB CEO; Lindsey Rayner, MD at Machine_; and Asha Patel, IAB SA Connected Womxn lead and Google sub-Saharan Africa head B2B Marketing and CMM, South Africa
Bridget Ngcobo and Asha Patel of Google
The event took place at Machine_ Johannesburg’s head office with our JHB MD, Lindsey Rayner welcoming the inspiring speakers and guests. “Machine_ has a long-standing connection with the IAB and, as an agency – born out of digital and advocates of transformation – it was an absolute privilege to host the event,” she says.
The event, Recognising Shapeshifters, was created by the IAB South Africa Transformation Council, in partnership with Google South Africa, Meta, TBWA and Machine_ with the purpose to recognise shapeshifters across the digital technology and media and marketing industries. Members of the public could nominate women across five awards categories, which then went to a judging panel before winners were announced on Friday. (Robyn was unfortunately unable to fly up to Johannesburg and Lindsey accepted the award on her behalf.)
Simone Frost, IAB SA Connected Womxn Digital Shaper of the Year, Lulama Makhubela, managing director at African Research House, and Candice Goodman non executive director at the Direct Marketing Association of South Africa (DMASA)
Merissa Himraj, CEO Wavemaker SSA
“According to the United Nations, the global crisis of the past two years has greatly impacted women, significantly setting back the gender parity agenda by nearly 25 years,” says Asha Patel, IAB South Africa Women’s Council and Connected Womxn lead, and head of B2B marketing for sub-Saharan Africa and head of Marketing for South Africa at Google. “For this reason, the digital media and marketing and technology sectors need to focus on initiatives and activities that advance the UN’s fifth Sustainable Development Goal to achieve gender equality,” she says. “Our programme, Connected Womxn, has been built with this in mind,” explains Patel.
“Robyn and I joined Machine_ in the midst of hard lockdown in 2020 – what feels like a lifetime ago – and even though we had never met each other in person, we immediately formed a bond through a shared vision of what we wanted for Machine_,” says Lindsey.
“In just over two years, Machine_ JHB has gone from being five people to 55. We have doubled female and black representation in our senior leadership team. We have remained true to our agency values of Never Afraid, launching our Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee, entitled the Never Afraid Council, who, at their core, hold the agency to account – to do more,” says Lindsey.
“Robyn and I have not achieved this alone; we are plugged into the Publicis Groupe which is all about collaboration and connection and it’s testament to what is possible when we connect, build and support each other,” says Lindsey.
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