Mandie van der Merwe wins at B&T Women in Media

Billed as “A celebration of the women who not only do fantastic work, but somehow manage to find the time to positively reset the zeitgeist along the way” B&T’s Women in Media Awards recognises and celebrates the very best females in our industry.

This year, M&C Saatchi ECD Mandie Van der Merwe was awarded the gong for Creative.

Mandie’s talent, commitment and professionalism, combined with her ability to give back and mentor and encourage women, is changing the face of advertising. 

Mandie has always been committed to training and mentorship of young talent in our industry, so it was no surprise when she was announced as the National Head of AWARD School. During her tenure, she has spearheaded the course with a strong focus on championing diversity of gender, race and culture amongst students, tutors, lecturers and judges – and ensured the courses thrived despite the pandemic.

The need for diversity in advertising, particularly in the creative departments, resonated with Mandie, who created more opportunities and flexible working conditions to make this happen. She has made a difference at M&C Saatchi by redressing the balance of only 17% women, hiring seven female creatives and promoting two women to creative leadership roles. 

In 2020, Mandie was speaker at Rare Sydney – a training programme for younger talent aimed at addressing the distinct lack of diversity in the creative industry. She sits on Snapchat Creative Council and the AWARD Committee, and has judged for the One Show Awards and New York Festivals, as well as being the jury chair at this year’s AWARD Awards. 

Mandie’s sphere of influence extends well beyond the M&C Saatchi Sydney and the M&C Saatchi global network. She has a determination and a vision to achieve changes in the wider industry and is focussed on championing young creative talent. In everything she does, it is poise, patience and perseverance.

Susan Coghill, CMOTourism Australia

It seems only yesterday that AWARD School was male dominated at every level. However, the 2020 version was 40/60 male/female with 70% of top students being female, an achievement we couldn’t have dreamt of a few years ago.

Tony Hale, CEOThe Communications Council