The fifth celebrates international women’s day


By Bella Hales

Wednesday, 8th of March 2023

Today is International Women’s Day: a day to celebrate, recognise and champion women around the world. This year, the theme is #EmbraceEquity because despite significant progress in recent years, women continue to face discrimination and inequality in various areas of life, including education, employment and politics. This year’s theme serves as a call to action for organisations and individuals to work towards creating a more equitable and inclusive society for women.

“Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA. And it’s critical to understand the difference between equity and equality.” International Women’s Day

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s important for us to recognise the incredible women who work at THE FIFTH and in the wider industry. Here, we have asked some of our male colleagues to share the women who inspire them. 

Jess Markwood and Oliver Lewis

Olly Lewis, CEO

Jess Markwood (COO at THE FIFTH) truly makes the world a better place. Her drive and passion for people and for a fairer, greener, more inclusive workplace and society is a constant source of inspiration to me. Where Jess leads I will follow”.

Barry Louth, Client Growth Director 

I had the pleasure of working in Sophia Ahmad‘s (CMO Xfinity Comcast) Media and Marketing Planning team during my time at Sky. Sophia was an inspiration as she had a massive job but always prioritised being present for her son. She managed to balance a demanding role with her family life and did so without breaking sweat. Sophia had a wealth of insight and always provided sound advice. I am grateful to have been in her team”.

Lucas Mompo, Senior Paid Social Specialist

I admire Juliette Hill (Senior Account Director at THE FIFTH) as she is the kind of woman that is always willing to assist others in making everything work. She makes decisions with sensitivity and intelligence with a positive attitude without boasting of her abilities. Juliette is like the vital mechanism of a clock, moving all the other pieces to keep them functioning. I am impressed by the way she successfully balances her life as a new mum and a demanding work schedule”.

Joel Newman, Senior Creative
“I can always count on Candy Green (Creative Director at THE FIFTH) to push my work to the extremes. Good is never enough – it has to be perfect. It’s amazing watching her energy and passion for the industry, her knowledge is second to none. Working closely with her has taught me invaluable lessons and information which I now use in my day to day. I wouldn’t be the Creative I am today without her”.

Juliette Hill

Robert Stevenson, Head of Business Strategy 

Cathy Hackl (Founder & Chief Metaverse Officer at Journey), known as the ‘Godmother of the Metaverse’, has become one of the most respected and influential voices in the field of futurism and metaverse strategy.

“She speaks about the role of technology in society with a healthy dose of pragmatism and makes complex concepts tangible by making them more human, such as talking about her kids buying digital clothing within Roblox.

“As a woman in a male dominated field, Cathy is inspiring the next generation of female leaders and innovators, which is something society, whether IRL or digital, needs more of!”.

Sam Coleman, Managing Director

My first agency job was as an entry level TV Buyer at a media agency called PHD way back in 2004. PHD was known as the most progressive agency in London in those days and was unique in that the two most senior people at the agency (the CEO and Chairperson) were both women.

Tess Alps was the Chairperson and I will never forget the energy, time and interest she showed in me, one of many graduates in a large media agency. She met all of us individually, got to know us as people and ultimately made us feel part of the fabric of PHD from our very first day. As a grad, I never worked closely with Tess, but that didn’t matter, the way she led the agency with empathy, heart and humour still impacts the way I see my role at THE FIFTH to this day”.

Rom Reddock, Account Manager

Kathy Dover – my first line manager and what a legend. Always there to help, lend a hand, support and push me to higher standards. Started with a coffee and ended with a hire. Really inspired me to go for it all as she put the trust in my hands from day one, allowing me to make my own mistakes – but also guided the process. In turn, she started the process of sculpting the account handler I am today”. 

Courtnee Haley and Alice Thompson

Sam Hills, Midweight Creative 

“It’s gotta be Alice Thompson (Creative Strategy Lead) and Courtnee Haley (Midweight creative strategy at THE FIFTH). They are the Queens of strat and have just the most unbelievable brains… The insights they deliver blow my mind daily. They hold the agency to such a high standard and that inspires me to create the best work possible just so I can do their insight justice. A couple of real Strater-G’s”.

Joe Regan, Campaign Director 

“It’s an absolute pleasure to work with Jess Myers (Business Director at THE FIFTH). A true professional who doesn’t take things too seriously, always makes work fun, and always offers the best advice on both a work and a personal level. A truly great woman”.

Jordan Carroll, Innovation Director 

Katie Wallwork (Director of THE FIFTH TALENT) stands for the right things when it comes to people and the planet, and is unwavering in her ambition to make sure our work is always a force for good. It’s super inspirational to see a business leader who is extremely successful whilst always doing the right things and upholding these values.

“This attitude resonates with the whole of THE FIFTH TALENT and every team member that joins is brought into her vision. If every business leader thought like Katie then the world would be a much better place!!!”.

Jonnie Owen, Commercial Partnerships Manager – Music

“I am very privileged to work with Jess Markwood (COO at THE FIFTH). Her energy is infectious and she will always make time for everyone. Jess is a great leader and provides us with the support and confidence that enables us to work at our very best.

“It’s never a dull moment and always a giggle”.

Which women in your life inspire you? Tell them today, and remember: women shouldn’t just be celebrated today, but everyday.