The manager of Google Ireland is the third winner of the annual award which was launched in 2014, to acknowledge and support female leadership in the advertising industry.
The award, along with the Special Recognition Award and the Rising Star Award won by Electric Media Ireland’s Michelle O’Keeffe and Aideen O’Neill of Verve Live Agency respectively, aims to expose these females with leadership potential and recognise their work.
“Cera’s career to date lives to her own mantra- ‘I do something regularly that scares me’” said Colin Gordon, one of the judges and the CEO of Glanbia.
Before joining the Google team, Ms Ward led and built the national sales team at Newstalk over a period of nine years. She is a Marketing Institute of Ireland graduate, prior to this she studied Journalism.
“It’s very important to support, and particularly women, because we are different. I didn’t initially think we were but the further I got up the ranks I realised that we’re just a little bit different.” Ms Ward said upon accepting her award.
“The gender gap and possibly the inequality that we have is down to something more than just long hours and possibly maternity leave. I think there’s a responsibility on us all as role models and leaders in this room in the industry to look at the root causes as to why women are starting to fall out.”
“It’s well proven at the top that a diverse table is a more successful table. The hones is on all of us. We’re not looking for positive discrimination, we’re just looking for a fair playing field”.
Ms O’Neill, the winner of the IAPI Doyenne Rising Star Award has been the Activations Director at Verve for the past six years. “She’s not only a rising star but also a true leader of people with a strong focus on the client and conscience on how to work best with her team” Mr Gordon said of the Event Management and PR graduate.
Michelle O’Keeffe picked up the Special Recognition Award for her commendable entrepreneurial approach.
The awards took place at a breakfast ceremony this morning, on International Women’s Day, at the Shelbourne Hotel.