Last year, after winning their first Cannes Lion, a pair of creatives from Mcgarrybowen in London, Holly Fallows and Charlotte Watmough, started a movement called Cannes Lionesses to champion female creatives at Cannes. This year, the women are back, and they're on a mission to find the first female creative winner of the Cannes gold Lion.
"We're trying to find the first Lionesses, the original Peggy Olsons," Fallows told Adweek. "Cannes has an amazing archive, but the data on female creatives doesn't go that far back. They started in 1954, but [information about female creatives] from that date isn't available. So we're going to have to do a proper bit of detective work to find out who the original Lioness was."
Fallows added, "We want to create this definitive list [of female creative Cannes Lions winners] from 1954 to 2016 so that we get this archive of amazing female creative talent that are winning awards. It's to inspire people, really."
During their time at Cannes this year, the duo is conducting interviews with past Cannes Lionesses including Grey's Vicki Maguire, and Saatchi & Saatchi's Kate Stanners and Rosie Arnold.
"We've set up loads of interviews with past winners, and we're going to track down the winners from this year and interview them so the website can be more of a source of inspiration and motivation," said Fallows.
Fallows and Watmough are also hoping anyone who knows of or has information about the first Cannes Lioness will reach out to them. They're using the hashtag #canneslionesses on social media to spread their message.
"We were obviously aware that there's a gender imbalance in the industry, but within our agency, it's never been an issue," said Fallows. "Winning the award made us realize, when we saw everyone walk up on stage and there weren't any females, that's when the penny dropped."