talks & debates
talks & debates

Women in the Creative Industries Day

Part of WOW – Women of the World

Join women and men from across the creative industries to discuss why gender equality in our sector matters so much, celebrate the vital role women play in our industry and investigate what we have to do to level the playing field.

What should a working day look like to be more inclusive for women? Who are the most forward-thinking organisations taking action and what can we learn from them? How can men be allies and champions? And what will happen if we fail to diversify?

From discussions on everything from straight up sexism to creative confidence and intersectionality 101, and a chance to meet the people leading the charge, come and join the debate at WOW – Women in the Creative Industries Day.

The day begins with our annual Women in the Creative Industries Awards, awarding excellence across the industry. Nominees include Imogen Heap, Lubaina Himid, FKA Twigs, Glenda Jackson, Reni Eddo-Lodge and Rachel Whiteread.

Our panel of judges includes Tate Director Maria Balshaw CBE; Anne-Marie Curtis; Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Magazine; Martin Green, CEO & Director, Hull City of Culture 2017; Amy Lamé, London’s first Night Czar and co-founder of Duckie; John McGrath, CEO & Artistic Director of Manchester International Festival; Dame Julia Peyton-Jones DBE, Senior Global Director of Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac; Jenny Sealey MBE, CEO & Artistic Director of Graeae; Nikesh Shukla, author, and editor of The Good Immigrant and Deborah Williams, CEO at Creative Diversity Network.

The judging will be convened by Jude Kelly and arts editor, broadcaster and critic, Sarah Crompton.


Arrivals and Networking
Grab a hot drink and make new connections across the sector.

Women in the Creative Industries Awards
11.45am – 1pm
The day begins with our annual Women in the Creative Industries Awards, awarding excellence across the industry presented by star guests. Last year’s winners included Julia Peyton-Jones, Paulette Newman and Bryony Kimmings.

Intersectionality in the Creative Industries 101
1.45pm – 2.45pm
How do we fight for gender equality in the creative industries without ignoring other issues such as class, race, sexuality and disability? Come and find out what intersectionality is, why it matters, and the steps we can take to make this industry one that works for all women. Chaired by Deborah Williams, Executive Director at Creative Diversity Network. Speakers include Karen Tomlin, Director of In the Company of Men; Amy Trigg, Actor and Juno Dawson, Author and Journalist.

Womenomics: finance and funding in the creative industries
1.45pm – 2.45pm
To what extent do women have our hands on the pennies and pounds, and what is it costing us if we aren’t in financial control? How can we ensure fair access to finance and funding? And what is the impact of freelancers and flexible working on how work is valued and the gender pay gap? Join women of all budgets discussing the power of the female pound in the creative industries. Chaired by Amelia Richards, Commercial Director for the Creative Industries Federation. Speakers include Ella d'Amato, Chief Commercial and Partner Officer at; Otegha Uwagba, Founder of Women Who and author of Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women and Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Being the Leading Lady: Understanding and Using Power
3.15pm – 4.15pm
Women have always been pivotal figures in the creative industries, but have only recently begun to occupy leadership positions. How can we shift employment structures and governance models towards recognising and valuing this female leadership? What should a working day look like to be more inclusive for women, how can we engage men in the conversation and what can we learn from other sectors? We speak to powerful women in the arts to define what a successful leader looks like in 2018. Chaired by Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre and Founder of WOW – Women of the World Festival. Speakers include Hilary Carty, Director of the Clore Leadership Programme; Emma Bridgewater, ceramicist and entrepreneur; Cassa Pancho, Founder and Artistic Director of Ballet Black and Cressida Pollock, CEO of the English National Opera.

The Genius Gap: women and creative confidence
3.15pm – 4.15pm
From producers to artists, arts managers to designers, history has led us to believe that deep creativity and especially ‘genius’ is the preserve of men – but what about women’s creative force? We talk to a panel of artists and industry experts at all stages of their career about straight up sexism, trusting your intuition, putting women’s stories centre stage and addressing the structural imbalance in the arts. Chaired by Gillian Moore, Head of Music at Southbank Centre. Speakers include Tea Uglow, Creative Director of Google's Creative Lab in Sydney, Harriet Vine, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Tatty Devine; Sabrina Mahfouz, playwright, poet and screenwriter and Manjit Thapp, illustrator.

Agents of Change: looking to the future of the creative industries
4.30pm – 5.30pm
Gender equality is a matter of social justice, and there’s also a hard economic case for the creative industries to diversify their workforces. But more than that, the arts are where we make stories, and it’s vital we explore whose story is being told and by whom. We close the Creative Industries Day by hearing from Vanessa Kingori MBE, Publishing Director at British Vogue, Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director at the Royal Court and Francesca Martinez, comedian, writer and actor.

Chaired by Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre and Founder of WOW – Women of the World Festival.

The Creative Industries Talks are programmed in partnership with the .Creative Industries Federation

Dates & times

This event has passed.


Royal Festival Hall
The Clore Ballroom, Level 2


Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)


25% off (limited availability)
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need to know

All our spaces are fully accessible. This event is British Sign Language-interpreted. To join our free Access Scheme, email or call our Ticket Office on 020 3879 9555.