Monday, June 18, 2018
  • Monday, Jun. 13, 2016
Cannes Lions Sets Lineup of Promising Women Creatives For See It Be It Initiative
Lauren Smith, associate creative director, TBWA\Media Arts Lab
  • CANNES, France
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See It Be It, the Cannes Lions initiative to support and develop the industry’s underrepresentation of female creatives, has unveiled its class of 2016.

The group of high-potential women, who were chosen from over 500 applications and represent a diverse range of global talent, includes: Marta Fraczek, sr. 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, sr. writer, FCB/SIX, Canada; Carrie Dunn, writer, 72andSunny, USA; Miruna Macri, art director, MRM/McCann, Romania; and Jade Tomlin, creative group head, Hugo & Cat, UK.

The group will be brought to Cannes Lions as special guests of the Festival, with airfares and accommodation provided. The See It Be It program 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,” said Watson. “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 less will climb the ladder. Worldwide, it’s estimated that only 25% of agency creatives are female and just 3% reach creative director level.

The program 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 alum, 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.”