The Challenge

We were brought on by founder Alma Har’el to turn non-profit Free the Bid into FREE THE WORK. While Free the Bid was a searchable list of female-identifying directors meant to make the process of hiring for commercial spots more inclusive, FREE THE WORK was to be usable to creatives of all kinds — from different professions and underrepresented identities — and the people who hire them in a variety of creative industries, including advertising, television, music video production, and film. We needed to create a product that merged a variety of use cases:

  • User-generated content aggregation and personalized…

LA | June 27, 2019

On June 27, 2019 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Los Angeles, 400+ top female engineers were able to network with top tech companies who are committed to inclusion and innovation. Through panels, keynotes and presentations, companies and attendees alike were able to engage in meaningful and actionable conversation surrounding the past and future impact of women in tech.

What Did They Experience

Inspiring Keynotes

Jennie Ibrahim, Google

Meet the women responsible for ensuring that the male-dominated, smoke-filled rooms of Mad Men remain a thing of the past.

After spending over a decade working for traditional agencies, Maura Cottle, Melissa Gore, and Melissa Bennett stuck out on their own to start Heat Waves, a women-led agency focused on developing digital experiences for beloved brands by the likes of Sephora, Sweetgreen, Sonos, and Reformation, to name a few.

Here, the creative collective of female founders shares how they built their disruptive digital agency from the ground up, including what it’s like working with major brands and why having a…


Director Alma Har’el disrupted the ad world with Free the Bid, a searchable platform of women directors. Now she’s going to diversify entertainment.

(Left to right) Top row: Pamala Buzick, head of partnerships; Alma Har’el, founder; Emma Reeves, executive director. Bottom row: Danielle Boyd, Tara Aquino, Chloe Coover, Mya Dodson, Hannah Bombelles. [Photo: courtesy of Emma Holley]

Underneath the bold headlines and damning statistics highlighting the lack of parity for women and people of color in entertainment, there’s a more nuanced conversation that shouldn’t be ignored. As actor and producer Viola Davis explained at Variety’s Inclusion Summit back in May, “I do not want to be a part of a rider,” referring to inclusion riders, the legal language actors can bake into their contracts to ensure more diverse representation on their projects. Actor Frances McDormand first put the practice in the spotlight during her 2018 Oscars acceptance speech. “No, seriously,” Davis said. …

Heat Waves

A women owned design and technology studio based in Los Angeles. We create brands, digital products and services. heatwaves.co

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