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Women in Research presents Abigail Hutchings-Pates, Mario Carrasco with WIRe MRX Diversity Champion Award

November 3, 2023

3 November 2023 — Chicago, IL Women in Research (WIRe), a global non-profit organization that champions diversity in the marketing research industry, has announced the winners of their seventh-annual WIRe MRX Diversity Champion award. WIRe partnered with the Insights Association and FUEL + Focus Room to celebrate the occasion during the Corporate Researchers Conference (CRC) in Chicago today. This year’s Gold and Silver award winners are UNICEF UK’s Abigail Hutchings-Pates and ThinkNow’s Mario Carrasco respectively.

Gold award winner Abigail Hutchings-Pates

Gold award winner Abigail Hutchings-Pates is a Senior Market Analyst at UNICEF UK, who provides colleagues with insights on the market, charity sector, and their supporters from an evidence-based and data-driven perspective. Abigail champions mental wellbeing as a Mental Wellbeing Champion in the workplace. She also serves as UNICEF UK's Disability Network Co-Chair, raising awareness of disabilities, supporting her colleagues, and representing the Disability Network.

Abigail graduated from the University of Sheffield with an MA in Social Research while interning at several public and not-for-profit sector agencies before gaining experience in agency-side and client-side roles. During her 5+ years in the industry, her notable achievements include her report 'Women Played. Women Paid. Women Made' about women in the videogame industry, which was presented at the MRS Sports and Gaming conference; her team winning 'Best Not for Profit' category at The Independent Agency Awards following her measurement, creative testing, and campaign analysis of audiences and media buying; and more recently, her research being used and displayed in UK Parliament calling on the UK Government to commit to a 'Baby and Toddler Guarantee'. A lifelong champion of social causes, Abigail is a first aid and mental first aid administrator; fundraises for sick, injured, and abandoned animals; and supports others in her field as a mentor. She was named Project Leader of the Year by The University of Sheffield for her children's group, providing siblings of disabled children respite.

Upon receiving her nomination, Abigail noted, "I don't think I can put into words how amazed and grateful I am to receive this award – no, not because I have dyslexia but despite my dyslexia. Like many of the other nominees, our hard work and dedication to championing diversity comes from a place of experiencing injustice. It has, and is still, taking a long time for me to be proud of my differences but today I am proud: proud to be recognised; proud to be nominated among incredible people doing incredible work, proud to be given a platform by Women In Research, proud of my Disability Network, proud of the other Mental Wellbeing Champions and proud of my colleagues at Inclusive UNICEF. No matter how hard it is, I promise to keep finding the words and using my voice to speak up, call out, and represent you. For anyone else struggling to find the words and thinking their voice doesn't matter: Keep trying because you, your experiences, your opinion, and your voice do matter — and we're here to listen to you."

Silver Award Winner Mario Carrasco

Silver Winner Mario Carrasco is the co-founder and principal of ThinkNow, an award-winning cross-cultural research technology company. He is a dedicated champion of diversity and inclusion and embodies these values in his professional and personal endeavors. Under Mr. Carrasco's co-leadership, ThinkNow has spearheaded numerous groundbreaking initiatives to amplify the voices of underrepresented and underserved communities. Notably, they launched DigaYGane.com, one of the largest and most representative Hispanic online panels in the insights industry. Additionally, through a strategic partnership with Semasio, they launched ThinkNow Audiences, making zero-party multicultural data available on all major demand-side programmatic platforms. Over 100 global brands have increased their reach by up to 70% using ThinkNow Audiences.

His impact extends beyond unveiling disruptive technologies that transform cultural conversations, however. He takes his activism from the C-suite to Main Street, contributing articles to or being cited in national publications like Forbes, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Fortune Magazine, MediaPost, eMarketer, Quirk's Magazine, and Online MR Magazine. He launched The New Mainstream podcast, inviting CMOs and DEI executives from leading global brands to engage in insightful conversations about diversity and inclusion. Mr. Carrasco has been recognized for his achievements. In 2022, he was selected to receive the Insights Association's Laureate Certification as part of the IPC (Insights Professional Certification) program. Those who hold the Laureate Certification are recognized as outstanding members of the Insights community, with distinguished careers marked by meaningful contributions that have advanced the profession. This is a lifetime recognition of distinction in the field.

The WIRe MRX Diversity Champion award was created to honor individuals of all genders who are actively embracing all aspects of diversity, encouraging investment in a diverse workforce in market research, and embodying the values of respect, dignity, autonomy and equality. This year’s award was promoted in partnership with the Insights Association and with support from FUEL + Focus Room. Past winners include Denene Jonielle Rodney in 2017; Babita Earle and JD Deitch in 2018; Sophia Papadopoulos and Lindsey Brinkworth and Jess Mons in 2019; Damon Jones and Rebecca Vega in 2020; Catherine Yuile and Theo Francis in 2021; and Bianca Pryor, Laarni Paras in 2022.

Reflecting on this year’s award, FUEL Founder and this year’s award sponsor Tiffany Hays noted that, “Embracing a more vibrant and inclusive market research industry is long overdue and much needed. As the world becomes increasingly multifaceted, our industry must embrace change actively; the winners of WIRe's MRX Diversity Champion award are ideal examples of the change we need to see.

Taking part in this award program is incredibly close to our hearts as, at FUEL and The Focus Room, we take immense pride in ensuring our diverse team is supported and spotlighted for the exceptional work that they do. We're honored to recognize and celebrate those actively championing the cause to ensure that MRX organizations represent all genders, sexualities, nationalities, races, and religions. We're thrilled to be at the forefront of a transformative movement and to support the WIRe community.”


For more information on the award, please visit https://www.womeninresearch.org/mrx-diversity-champion-award or reach out to jessica@womeninresearch.org


About Women in Research
WIRe champions diversity in the marketing research industry by arming women with the tools to develop professionally, build connections and stay inspired. We believe in the positive impact of women in business. Our mission is to advance the contributions and voice of women in research, both for themselves and for the greater good of the industry. www.womeninresearch.org

About FUEL + Focus Room
FUEL is a global recruiting + field management firm, providing in-person and online qualitative solutions. Our Senior Field Directors have extensive experience in all methodologies across many sectors - offering unsurpassed knowledge of global markets, cultures, and online technologies with 24/7 support. With over 15 years completing research in almost every country, you can trust us to know what is possible and support you while delivering trusted results. www.fuelyourworld.com

Focus Room has been specializing in US online and in-person qualitative recruiting for 30+ years. Our diverse recruiting team and Senior level Project Managers are experts at making sure you have highly qualified, enthusiastic respondents nationwide.  Our Orange County, CA boutique studio is designed to optimize your in-person research featuring state-of-the-art technology, three modern suites, flexible layouts with a retractable wall providing ample space for your large CLT studies, and an expert management team. www.focusroom.com

About Insights Association
The Insights Association protects and creates demand for the evolving Insights and Analytics industry by promoting the indisputable role of insights in driving business impact. All revenue is invested in quality standards, legal and business advocacy, education, certification, and direct support to enable our members to thrive. www.insightsassociation.org