Cannes taps 15 female creatives for gender balance project

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See It Be It, the Cannes Lions initiative to remedy the industry’s underrepresentation of female creatives, has chosen 15 “high potential” women from over 500 applicants to discuss the issue at the festival. None of the 15 are from Australia or NZ.

The group will be brought to the Cannes Lions as special guests of the festival, with airfares and accommodation provided. They are:

  • Marta Fraczek, Senior Copywriter, Saatchi & Saatchi /Interactive Solutions, Poland
  • Lauren Smith, Associate Creative Director, TBWA\Media Arts Lab, USA
  • Lucy-Anne Ronayne, Creative Director, Havas London, UK
  • Atiya Zaidi, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather Karachi, Pakistan
  • Ulrika Plotniece, Creative Director, DDB, Latvia
  • Katherine O’Brien, Associate Creative Director, Code & Theory, USA
  • Knox Balbastro, Regional Associate Creative Director, DigitasLBi, Singapore
  • Scarlett Montanaro, Art Director, AnalogFolk, UK
  • Diana Triana, Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson, Colombia
  • Natasha Romariz Maasri, Associate Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather, Brazil
  • Marina Cuesta, Associate Creative Director Dieste, USA
  • Krystle Mullin, Senior Writer, FCB/SIX, Canada
  • Carrie Dunn, Writer, 72andSunny, USA
  • Miruna Macri, Art Director, MRM/McCann, Romania
  • Jade Tomlin, Creative Group Head, Hugo & Cat, UK

The See It Be It programme this year features curated mainstage seminars, behind-the-scenes jury room access, specially designed workshops with awarded senior creatives, one-to-one mentoring from “a raft of the most respected, inspiring” industry leaders and exclusive networking opportunities.

The inaugural See It Be It Ambassador, Sarah Watson, Global Chief Strategy Officer of BBH, was actively involved in recruitment of participants and will now guide them during the festival.

“Access and exposure are a huge part of the path to leadership. If you can’t ‘see’ the sort of leader that you might become, then the less likely you are to ‘be’ it,” she said.

“The lack of female creative leadership is widely acknowledged, so it’s now about the speed of action and change. The See It Be It Class of 2016 may be small in number, but with the power of the very best of Cannes Lions behind them, their impact will reverberate around the world.”

See It Be It was launched in 2014, as a response to industry gender imbalance. Fewer women than men are joining creative ranks and even fewer will climb the ladder. Worldwide, it’s estimated that only 25% of agency creatives are female and just 3% reach Creative Director level.

The programme is a proven career-accelerator and is now focused on increasing impact by ensuring participants also pass on the benefits of their experience as they progress and continue to advocate for industry gender equality. With this in mind, 2014 See It Be It Alumni, Cheyney Robinson, the recently appointed Chief Experience Officer of Isobar EMEA/APAC, is returning to the Festival this year to mentor the group.

“See It Be It offered the single most powerful dimension (once missing) in my career – a shared mission with a rising global network of incredibly inspired, talented women – who together, can accomplish any task set forth,” said Robinson.

“This, with access to the very best of what Cannes can offer, will open doors, shatter glass ceilings of bias and inequity and offer new and exciting futures for this year’s very worthy group of creative women.”


Delegate registration: open
Late entries:
Festival dates: Saturday 18 June -Saturday 25 June
Lions Health: Saturday 18 June -Sunday 19 June
Lions Innovation: Tuesday 21 June – Wednesday 22 June
Lions Entertainment: Thursday 23 June – Friday 24 June

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