Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

More power to our Superwomen!

Updated Jun 12, 2019 03:18pm
Two Pakistani advertising women make it to the global list for their outstanding talent.
Left: Atiya Zaidi, ECD, JWT/Grey; right: Maria Shamsi, ACD, Synergy Dentsu.
Left: Atiya Zaidi, ECD, JWT/Grey; right: Maria Shamsi, ACD, Synergy Dentsu.

Monday, June 10, brought great news for Pakistan’s advertising fraternity with the announcement of Pitch 100 Superwomen 2019. For the first time, two Pakistani advertising women made it to the list: Atiya Zaidi, Executive Creative Director, JWT/Grey and Maria Shamsi, Associate Creative Director, Synergy Dentsu.

Both women were nominated by their industry peers, including past and present colleagues as well as bosses, who, according to Zaidi, wrote recommendations, which were “quite detailed and unlike a simple vote.” Zaidi is also the first Pakistani woman to have been selected for the Cannes Lions ‘See It Be It’ event.

Expressing her gratitude, Zaidi adds that the generosity of our advertising industry is often pushed under the rug; “what we see is a very dog-eat-dog version of the industry but on the other hand, there are men and women reaching out to rivals to lift them up.”


Zaidi has proved that herself as she nominated Shamsi for this year’s Pitch 100 Superwomen list.

In Shamsi’s words, “Atiya is the reason I’m working in advertising and I cannot thank this superwoman enough for believing in me and investing her time to coach me.”

At the same time, Shamsi believes it was her drive for creative excellence and nonconformist approach to challenging the norms and pushing for greater and better things that helped her to be nominated for the much coveted list.

The Pitch 100 Superwomen initiative was launched in 2017 by Sherry Collins, Founder of The Pitch Fanzine – a movement initiated in 2015 to challenge inequality, discrimination and the lack of diversity in the creative industry while simultaneously showcasing outstanding contemporary talent such as animators, artists, brand founders, creative directors, illustrators, photographers and producers via its publication Pitch (in which the Pitch 100 Superwomen 2019 list appears).

For Shamsi and Zaidi, being part of this list is great for their resume because Pitch is read by the creative industry and decision-makers across the globe.

Pitch hosts all the 100 Superwomen featured at the D&AD’s (Global Association for Creative Advertising & Design Awards) London office and both women believe that “it will be a great experience to meet and hear from other fantastic women from all over the world and up your game.”

Shamsi wants all women in advertising to keep believing in themselves. As for Zaidi, the fact that this year another Pakistani woman Hira Muhibullah will be attending Cannes Lions ‘See It Be It’, is a bigger success.

“We will all get what we are meant to get and when we put the spotlight on others, the whole room becomes brighter.”