Cannes wants more females

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See It Be It, the Cannes Lions initiative supporting and developing the industry’s underrepresented female creatives, is seeking candidates for 2016. 

Launched in 2014, See It Be It recruits high-potential creative women from around the world, sponsoring them in full to attend Cannes Lions for a unique, inspiring programme designed to accelerate their careers. During the Festival week they are mentored by industry trailblazers, hear from leading thinkers, meet high-profile speakers, observe judging behind-the-scenes and connect with peers.

Past participants have progressed to more senior industry roles and advocated for industry equality, amplifying the effects of the programme. A desire to increase these positive outcomes is behind some changes for 2016, including:

  • A newly-appointed See It Be It Ambassador 
  • A live brief, addressing the gender imbalance issue 
  • Longer duration, additional places and the participation of specialist health, innovation and entertainment creatives 

“Underrepresentation in the industry has received enormous attention in the last two years, but to see long-term cultural change we can’t afford to take our foot off the pedal,” said Lions Festivals ceo Philip Thomas. “We want to develop the careers of more creative women through See It Be It, addressing the gap in the most direct way we can, whilst ensuring the issue remains firmly in the spotlight.”

The See It Be It Ambassador
Leading the charge will be Sarah Watson, Chief Strategy Officer of BBH New York, who has been named the inaugural See It Be It Ambassador.

Watson’s role will be to champion the programme’s goals of industry gender equality, and act as an advisor. She will also accompany See It Be It participants during the festival, providing mentorship and input into a special task the group will undertake.

“See It Be It is about giving people new ideas about themselves and what they want to become,” said Watson. “It is transformative for those involved and for the industry at large. Just thinking about it is exciting; I can’t wait to get started.”

The See It Be It live brief
Integral to the practical approach of the programme will be the completion of a task designed to directly address gender disparity in creative fields in a highly visible way.

See It Be It participants will receive a brief for this prior to the Festival and workshop ideas together during their time in Cannes, using the inspiration and learning from their experiences as a springboard towards a tangible solution that benefits the broader industry.

How to apply
Awarded, mid to senior level creative women working in a branch of branded communications who are interested in being part of See It Be It should visit for more information, full selection criteria and the opportunity to apply.

In line with the festival’s three specialist events – Lions Innovation, Lions Health and Lions Entertainment – and ensuring the breadth of the industry is represented, creative women from these fields are being actively sought from this year, in addition to those from traditional agency environments.

In total, 15 participants will be included in the four-day programme and receive a festival pass, flights and accommodation.

Applications are now open, closing Friday 1 April.

Key Dates:

  • Delegate registration: open
  • Entries: open
  • Entries deadline: 24 March
  • Festival dates: 18-25 June 2016, Cannes, France
  • Lions Health: 18-19 June 2016
  • Lions Innovation: 21-22 June 2016
  • Lions Entertainment: 23-24 June 2016

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