The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has selected 15 rising women in the ad industry to send to this year’s weeklong event as part of a long-term effort to improve the festival’s gender balance.
The “See It Be It” program offers each honoree an all-expenses-paid pass (including flights and accommodations) aimed at helping winners network and further their careers. The news follows an announcement earlier in the month from the festival that juries this year were 43 percent female–an all-time high for the festival.
See It Be It first launched in 2014 as a way to identify promising mid- to senior-level talent in the advertising world. In order to score a coveted spot in the program, most honorees have won some level of industry award but have never attended the Cannes Lions. They must also be active on social media.
Women submit applications to be considered and are also put through a number of interviews with past See It Be It participants and representatives of the Cannes Lions festival.
These are the 15 women who will participate in the 2017 program, held during the week of the festival (June 17 to 24).
- Adebola Adegbulugbe, Copy Group Head, Insight Publicis, Nigeria
- Atiya Zaidi, Executive Creative Director, Synergy Dentsu, Pakistan
- Barbara Dzikanowice, Creative Content Director, Happiness (an FCB alliance), Belgium
- Deborah Vasques Soares, Senior Copywriter, Lew’Lara\TBWA, Brazil
- Hannah Johnson, Creative Concept / Copywriter, LA RED GmbH, Germany
- Jaki Jo Hannan, Senior Art Producer, AMV BBDO, UK
- Kara Coyle, Associate Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather, USA
- Lizi Hamer, Regional Creative Diretor, Octagon, Singapore
- Maria Milusheva, Creative Director, Noble Graphics TBWA, Bulgaria
- Marla Natoli, Director, Video and Mobile, AOL Canada
- Sakshi Choudhary, Creative Supervisor, OgilvyOne Worldwide, Mumbai, India
- Satoko Takada, Creative Director, McCann Tokyo, Japan
- Shahnaz Ahmed, Senior Graphic Designer, Livity / Founder & Director, Knit Aid, UK
- Shannon Crowe, Copywriter / Creative Freelance (formerly Clemenger BBDO Melbourne), Australia
- Tahirah Edwards-Byfield , Senior Copywriter, AKQA, USA
To learn more about the women taking part in the program you can take a look at these mini profiles on the festival’s website.
“This year’s group come from all over the world and bring a wide range of experiences and strong leadership potential. They will be exposed to the best inspiration Cannes Lions has to offer, with exclusive mentoring sessions, workshops and a program of events designed to extend and enhance their network,” said program leader Louise Benson, executive festival director of Lions Health, Lions Entertainment and Eurobest.
Madonna Badger–whose agency is responsible for the #WomenNotObjects campaign–will serve as the See It Be It ambassador for the 15 women this year.
“One of our goals this year will be to creatively strategize a format for past and present See It Be It participants to become a trusted support system for creative women globally,” Badger said in a statement. “I am so honored and excited to get to know all of these remarkable women.”