WIL 5th Anniversary

5th Anniversary

March 8th 2024
Light + Building Frankfurt

The Women In Lighting project began on March 8th, International Women’s Day in 2019.

At Light + Building in Frankfurt on March 8th, 2024, we celebrated the 5th anniversary of the project in conjunction with Messe Frankfurt.

This year’s theme for IWD is Inspire Inclusion and we hoped to do just that. We invited all our partners, collaborators, supporters and contributors to come along. We hosted a morning of interesting and celebratory content with a networking session at lunchtime within the Light + Building show.

You have all made this project a huge international success and we hope that the WIL project continues to shine brightly, guiding us towards a more inclusive, diverse, and vibrant future in the lighting industry.

The Event

Video by Gerasimos Pavlidis

Today, we celebrate a big milestone: the 5th anniversary of the WIL project. Most of you know that Martin and I started this project because of a mistake we made and a challenge we received to right it. That mistake was the impetus to create the Women In Lighting initiative and to address the gender imbalance that we saw in our industry. On International Women’s Day in 2019, the WIL Project embarked on a transformative journey with a vision to create a more inclusive and diverse lighting community.

It set out to shine a spotlight on the previously often-underrepresented talents and voices of women in lighting. Since then, the project has been a beacon of inspiration and empowerment and has illuminated the path of 100’s of women in lighting and its associated fields, highlighting their achievements, challenges, and contributions to our industry.

We stand in complete awe of how this project has grown and evolved to create an international connected community involving 79 countries so far. The ever-expanding global network has not only provided a platform for women to share their stories and insights but has also fostered support, mentorship, collaboration, and innovation across continents. It has become a source of inspiration for both emerging and established professionals, encouraging a dialogue that transcends both borders and disciplines within lighting.

Whilst the project started off in architectural lighting, it has grown to encompass all areas of lighting creating a cross-pollination between women who work as light artists, engineers, in education and in entertainment plus any other areas where light is the prime medium. In making these connections, the project creates further opportunity to share knowledge, inspiration and achievements.

Women In Lighting is supported by design agency, Archifos, focusing on social media communications and has a project sponsor in the form of Hong Kong based architectural lighting manufacturer, formalighting and an entertainment lighting sponsor, French manufacturer, Aryton. Alongside the website resource and archive of 100s of interviews, WIL has hosted hundred of events, conferences, awards programs and many more local initiatives.

Personally, there have been many moments where have I have felt very proud or humbled by things that happen. I love seeing a random photo on social media with someone wearing a WIL T-shirt or looking around a room at a WIL event and seeing so many countries represented and sitting together. Being able to connect people together professionally or support someone who has personally reached out, make this such a valuable initiative. Being able to celebrate amazing women in the form of giving awards, create an initiative that kept us connected during Covid or try something new, like curate a book to promote women light artists has made this an exciting personal journey.

During Covid, WIL created a one-day virtual event for International Women’s Day, the Global Gathering. Throughout the day, the event shifted focus from Asia Pacific to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. The Global Gathering ran again in 2022.

Last year, we undertook a “Global Gathering” of data on the lighting industry. Women In Lighting launched a survey aiming to look at the lighting profession in the context of theme of International Women’s Day 2023 - Embracing Equity. We wanted to gather a really comprehensive impression of the lighting industry both in terms of where it was doing well and where it need to improve. The results of the survey are now available and we hope that the results are a really valuable contribution to the profession as a whole.

We are often asked, Whats the point of WIL? Or I don’t get it or isn’t it time to stop going on about women or its divisive…

We disagree. Our digital platform is celebratory. The aims of the project have always been to try to do something that is primarily positive — we didn’t want to create a forum for negativity and felt that the best thing we could do was showcase the amazing work of women working in lighting from around the world.We felt that this would create visible role models for others in the industry who might be looking for people like them with the objective of encouraging and improving the diversity of all areas of the lighting industry.

Women In Lighting has used social activism to highlight and challenge unconscious bias in the industry via a strong social media presence that has built a large following. 10K on IG!  The project is also supported by individual women around the world - the WIL ambassadors.

The call for everyone to embrace feminism stems from a fundamental understanding of what feminism truly represents: the belief in and advocacy for equality of the sexes, encompassing not only women’s rights but also challenging systemic inequalities that affect people of all genders. We should all be feminists.

Feminism is not just for the benefit of women; it is a universal call to action for a more fair, inclusive, and equitable society. Its principles benefit everyone by challenging outdated norms, promoting equality, and advocating for the rights of all individuals.

Today is of course, International Women’s Day and the theme for 2024 is Inspire Inclusion. Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Together, we can celebrate women’s achievement and together, we can raise awareness about discrimination. We can all Inspire Inclusion.

There is no membership, anyone is welcome to join the community and that offer is also extended to male supporters. We welcome everyone to join and to be part of inspiring women everywhere and helping us to grow the network wider, ultimately supporting diversity and equity in all aspects of lighting.

Today is an opportunity to reflect on the achievements and strides made towards gender equality in our field. The Women in Lighting Project has brought to the forefront the exceptional work of women designers, engineers, artists, and educators, reminding us of the richness and diversity that inclusivity brings to our creative endeavours.

But it is not just about looking back; it’s also about envisioning the future. The journey towards equality and diversity in lighting design is ongoing, and the Women in Lighting Project plays a crucial role in steering this journey forward. As we move ahead, let us commit to supporting, uplifting, and amplifying the voices of women in our industry, recognising their invaluable contributions and potential to shape the future of lighting design.

In closing, we would like to thank all the ambassadors, contributors, and supporters of the Women in Lighting Project. You have not only made this initiative a success but have also ignited a global movement that continues to inspire and empower. We hope that the WIL project continues to shine brightly, guiding us towards a more inclusive, diverse, and vibrant future in the lighting industry.

Presentations on 8th May

Opening talk by WIL founder Light Collective:

Jen Lewin – Enlightening Public Space: The Power of Interactive Light Art:

Ulrike Brandi – Reflections on 35 years of being a female lighting designer:

Julie Boniche – Our Secret Language: To Orchestrate Emotions:

Katia Kolovea – Introducting the WIL Ambassadors:

WIL Ambassadors:


March 7th 3—4pm
Topic: Inspirational Women

Six speakers, three men and three women present in a PechaKucha style. Drinks served.

Carla Wilkins


Cherine Saroufim

WIL Ambassador to Lebanon

Andrea Hartranft

Hartranft Lighting

Amardeep Dugar

Lighting RN-D

Tejas Doshi

Light & Beyond

WIL 5 Year Anniversary Programme

March 8th 10am—2pm

Hall 3 Level 1, B50
Design Plaza, Hall 3.1



The WIL Project by Light Collective

Jen Lewin

Enlightening Public Space: The Power of Interactive Light Art

Jen Lewin / Jen Lewin Studio
Jen Lewin is an American installation artist who is known around the world for her public, interactive light landscapes. As visitors walk, dance, jump and play across her installations, they are able to generate an infinite amount of changes to the works’ colors and reflections. Inspired by light and reflection that occurs in nature, Lewin’s installations—though often temporary—are always site specific and designed to interact within their natural environment. Jen has shown that art has the transformative capability to bring together communities and make the world feel a little more connected.  Jen currently lives and works in New York, NY.
Ulrike Brandi

Reflections on 35 years of being a female lighting designer

Ulrike Brandi / Ulrike Brandi Licht
Ulrike Brandi is an internationally active lighting planner based in Hamburg. Since 1987, her office has realised more than 1,000 projects (indoor and outdoor spaces) and she has worked with the most important architects of our time. She has published numerous publications on the subject of light and is a sought-after expert, she regularly speaks and teaches on international stages. She also runs her own Institute for Light and Design.
Julie Boniche

Our Secret Language: To Orchestrate Emotions

Julie Boniche / Moment Factory
As a multimedia director, Julie Boniche is constantly looking for new creative ways to create memorable immersive experiences for the audience, each project needing to achieve a perfect balance between visual impact and emotional storytelling. Initially a set and lighting designer, she worked for several years in the world of opera and theatre, and also contributed to the development of the immersive experience department at ACTLD.com in Belgium.

Today, Julie is in charge of the creative vision of projects at Moment Factory. She manages a talented creative team that pushes the limits of creativity, motivated by the connection between the audience and the immersive experience. Meticulous, creative and blessed with a collaborative nature, Julie is an essential asset for Moment Factory. As she has the ability to take on both more intimate projects and large-scale events. Julie’s recent achievements include the Grand Magic Hotel and the Alta Lumina course in Les Gets in which she collaborated. 

Introduction by Katia Kolovea


WIL Ambassadors

Martina Frattura

R.A.W. Blogger

Giorgia Brusemini

WIL Ambassador in Italy

Magali Mendez

WIL Ambassador in Mexico

Surbhi Jindal

WIL Ambassador in India

Networking with drinks


End of Event

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