'See It Be It' is a programme that aims to further women's careers in the creative industry, encouraging them to stay in the industry.
From Sunday 15 June to Tuesday 17 June 2014, 12 women will be part of an inspirational and educational programme, which will take place during Cannes Lions.
The agenda will include guided access to the jury rooms, meet and greets with VIP speakers, dedicated sessions by industry leaders and by the Berlin School of creative Leadership, and a mentorship event supported by SheSays.
Post-Cannes, participants are provided with a toolkit that allows them to pass on their learning to other women in their networks. The Festival will also work with the group to produce a short documentary about how a more gender-balanced creative industry ensures better work. The film will be produced by Weber Shandwick and will be released in the summer.
"We're proud to be part of what is an important moment for our industry and a powerful experience for this impressive group of women. Our hope is that we can begin to help tackle a critically important issue in a personal and inspiring way," says Gail Heimann, president of Weber Shandwick.
Equalising gender balance
Considering women make more than 80% of purchasing decisions, marketers are increasingly demanding more female creative talent to work on their brands. Analysis carried out by Cannes Lions has found that 15% of delegates under the age of 28 are female and in creative jobs, compared to just 4% of delegates over the age of 28. This closely matches the 3% statistic of female creative directors worldwide.
Commenting on the programme, Lions Festival's director of brand strategy, Senta Slingerland says, "For years we've been observing the lack of women at the top of the industry and it's time to take action to redress the balance. We worked closely with our network and with Emma Sexton from SheSays to develop the programme and to identify the next set of female creative heavyweights - they exist, but need an extra push into the spotlight. We want every agency in the world to think about the women they have in their organisations and what they need to do to grow them."
The twelve participants have been chosen from nominations put forward by agency leaders. They are:
Nivedita Agashe, copywriter at Taproot Mumbai;
Juliana Ardila, art director at Leo Burnett Dubai;
Biba Cabuquit, associate creative director at DM9JaymeSyfu Manila;
Celeste Dalairac, creative director at Del Campo Saatchi Buenos Aires;
Stefanie DiGianvincenzo, associate creative director at Wunderman London;
Jenna Livingston, copy director at R/GA NYC;
Erica Pressly, Senior copywriter at Barbarian Group New York;
Cheyney Robinson, creative director at SapientNitro London;
Jem Robinson, design director at AllofUs London;
Ulrike Schumann, creative director at Serviceplan Zürich;
Angie Sun, creative executive at CAA Marketing Los Angeles;
Melo Xu, creative director at JWT Shanghai.
Find out more about them on www.canneslions.com/seeit
More input on gender balance
SheSays is also hosting a forum session on the topic on Sunday 15 June, entitled 'Why 80% of Your Advertising Budget Is Currently Being Wasted'. On Monday 16 June, Getty Images have a session entitled New Visual Language: How Brands Can Use Images to Close the Gender Gap with Lean In's editor, Jessica Bennett. Lean In's Founder Sheryl Sandberg is hosting a seminar on Wednesday 18 June.
The Festival is making other conscious steps to help redress the imbalance, an example of which can be found in the jury rooms, which this year sees 30% women in the juries, up 10% on 2013, and four female jury presidents.