Cannes Lions has today announced the 15 women selected for this year’s See It Be It program. The women, chosen from over 760 global applicants, will receive a complete Festival pass, travel and accommodation courtesy of the Festival, along with an exclusive program of events, workshops and mentoring with some of the most respected industry leaders.
Louise Benson, VP of Festivals, Cannes Lions and Executive Lead of See It Be It commented:
See It Be It is a key pillar of Cannes Lions’ response to the gender imbalance in the creative communications community and an active attempt to change the industry and the world for the better. Now in its sixth year we are starting to see the positive effects of the program, as many of the global alumnae are not only achieving great personal success but also going on to drive and champion positive change in their markets. We are delighted to support these 15 women from across the world and look forward to seeing them grow and become inspiring leaders.
The initiative addresses the lack of female creative leaders by identifying and facilitating the development of talented creative women, bringing them to the attention of the industry. In partnership with global sponsor, Spotify, the program supports women to attain positions of seniority and drive further change as advocates and enlightened leaders.
We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Cannes Lions and See It Be It for a second year. While we have made incremental strides as an industry, it is as important as ever to empower women worldwide to reach their full potential in creative marketing (…) The 2019 See It Be It class has raised the bar yet again. I look forward to being part of their journey and the inspiration they’re sure to impart to all of us.
VP, Global Head of Partner Solutions Spotify
2019 See It Be It Ambassador Swati Bhattacharya, Chief Creative Officer of FCBULKA set this year’s theme asking women to “Invite Yourself”. Building on the 2018 theme of “Leading from within” Swati challenges this year’s finalists, and the industry at large, to create space for themselves, and others, to participate in a meaningful and balanced way.
The 2019 See It Be It finalists are named as:
- Ana Luna (Creative Director, Circus Mexico) – Ana has worked in advertising for 7 years, creating campaigns for some of the world’s biggest brands including Netflix, Nike and P&G, where she won the Cannes Lions Health & Wellness Grand Prix for Always ‘Intimate Words‘ in 2015. Driven by her belief in advertising as a catalyst for cultural transformation, she continues to create campaigns that help brands to connect with and inspire their audiences.
- Carla Padovani (Senior Creative Copywriter McCann Santiago, Chile) – After winning multiple creative competitions and lecturing on creativity and copywriting at Universidad Siglo 21, Carla operates as a senior copywriter at McCann Santiago. Motivated by the ability to improve society through effective communication, Carla uses her position to create work that can raise awareness, open up dialogue and make changes to social injustices.
- Cécile Pimont (Senior Copywriter / ACD, Freelance, France) – Cécile is a freelance senior copywriter fighting for better representation of the LGBTQIA+ community. Through connecting with other like-minded women, Cécile hopes to see a rise in work that share more diverse stories and the creation of a world where everybody feels included.
- Devon Williamson (Art Director Cheil Canada) – As an art director working with clients such as Human Rights Watch, TD Wealth and Samsung Devon appreciates the opportunities to create impactful work that challenges stigma, empowers and inspires. In 2018 she won 13 Cannes Lions for her work on PFLAG Canada’s Destination Pride, an online platform that helps LGBTQ+ gain acceptance around the world. She was recently named the top Art Director in Canada by Strategy magazine.
- Gabriela Guerra (Senior Creative Copywriter, Freelance, Singapore) – Having started her career as a copywriter in Brazil, Gabriela took the decision to go freelance and work on projects that mattered to her. She believes the industry needs to practice equality with the same energy it speaks and creates. She co-created Fair Lions, a petition to make the Brazilian Young Lions competition more diverse and representative.
- Hira Mohibullah Amin (Creative Director BBDO Pakistan) – With over 150 international awards to her name, Hira’s work focuses on using the power of advertising to impact positive social change in the country. She pioneers change by empowering her teams and clients to push disruptive ideas. As a working mother and female creative, she urges brands to fight against patriarchy and gender inequality with projects including; #ChangeTheClap, led by APTN and UN Women Pakistan’s initiative #BridalUniform.
- Jessica Toye (Creative Director Virtue USA) – Having explored multiple areas of business, Jess now leads and mentors a team of diverse creatives. Driven by her tenacity and desire to progress, Jess has been awarded by international creative competitions and has achieved recognition as one of The One Club & 3% Conference’s “Next Creative Leaders”, Ad Age’s “Creative of the Year”, Adweek’s “Creative 100” and the 4A’s “100 People Who Make Advertising Great”.
- Josie Fox (Senior Creative Special Group Australia) – As a self-proclaimed ‘Josie of all trades’, Josie’s role often requires her to play a copywriter, designer, photographer and most recently, an animator. With a belief that more women should feel empowered to back themselves and challenge the status quo, Josie is an AWARD school tutor who helps and inspires students to continue their pursuit of creative greatness.
- Liz Cartwright (Creative Director TBWA\Chiat\Day USA) – As the Creative Director at TBWA\Chiat\Day Liz has worked on iconic campaigns, including the Gatorade film “Like a Mother”, inspired by Serena Williams which received international recognition. She’s also been named one of Business Insider’s “30 Most Creative Women” and The One Club & 3% Conference’s “Next Creative Leaders”.
- Manoti Jain (Chief Operating Officer Supari Studios India) – At the age of 22, Manoti set up Supari Studios sensing a gap in the country’s digital media market. Since then she has helped the company grow into one of the leading content studios in India, winning international awards and building a global audience for brands such as Red Bull, Estee Lauder Companies, Warner Bros. Records, Google, Twitter and Dolby. She strides to create content at the intersection of film, design and technology that is empowering and relevant to audiences.
- Nimo Awil (Senior Creative POKE London, United Kingdom ) – Nimo is an award-winning senior creative from Toronto, who mainly grew up in Abu Dhabi and currently lives and works in London. Her work spans a variety of brands including Dove, EE, American Express and The International Olympic Committee. She believes in the power of storytelling, using creativity to solve problems and has a particular interest in how advertising can promote positive change. In 2018, she was selected as a ‘Future Creative Leader’ by Creative Equals and Campaign.
- Rachel Kennedy (Art Director 180 Kingsday, The Netherlands) – As a Senior Art Director, Rachel works on global and pan-European campaigns for a broad spectrum of brands that range from automotive to fashion, pharmaceutical, food and beverage and non-profit.. Rachel hopes to challenge the gender imbalance within management and leaderships roles and help other women rise to the top. A fierce believer that creativity can solve any problem, she’s passionate about doing work for social good with ideas that change lives.
- Ruxandra Drilea (Senior Copywriter Publicis Romania) – Ruxandra is a creative who’s passionate about comedy, entertainment and illustration. She aims to change the perception about millennials in the industry with hard work, plenty of humour and by mentoring young girls through IAA. Her goal is to create binge-worthy creative content that reaches a wide audience, be it an integrated campaign or an SNL sketch. She has a huge ambition to become an agent of change, by becoming the first female creative director of her agency and passing on her insights of the industry to fellow young, aspiring creatives.
Ruxandra is the only Romanian creative selected to participate in the program, that had 760 applications coming from women working in communication this year. Ruxandra was designated Young European Creative of the year at ADC*E and has in her portfolio over 20 awards in Cannes Lions, Golden Drum, and local competitions like Effie, Internetics and Fibra Awards.
In a press release from Publicis Romania, Ruxandra says that “the access and exposure from See It Be It, the community that forms there and the results of the former participants show how strong and needed is SIBI in today’s advertising. I can’t wait to participate to the program, to meet the other 14 women and then to apply all I have learned”.
Regarding Ruxandra’s selection, Jörg Riommi, CCO – Publicis Romania & Publicis Groupe Central Eastern Europe – commented: “Ruxandra is the perfect candidate for this program and I am happy and proud she was selected to represent Romania and Publicis Groupe. She is a bright example for what this program represents and I consider we need more young women like her in the industry”
- Yaa Boateng (Creative Director The Storytellers Ghana) – Yaa is an award winning creative with over 65 industry recognitions. She was part of a team of seasoned and talented individuals who came together in 2018 to start Renegades Africa, an agency that connects brands to customers in exciting and unconventional ways. In 2018, she was nominated for her outstanding achievements in Ghana’s prestigious 40 Under 40 Awards in the category Advertising, Communications, Sales and Marketing. Yaa believes networking and learning from other female creatives will help to create recognition for women’s successes in the industry.
- Yaprak Gultay (Team Lead for Service Design Fjord Sweden) – Yaprak is a hands-on designer, a driver of creative thought leadership and has been a creative force behind work for notable clients, including Hilton Honors, IKEA, Etisalat and Sony Playstation. She wants to see a change in the industry’s perception of women and believes this can only be done by uniting the industry’s female leaders.
See It Be It is supported by a series of global events, in partnership with Spotify and run by alumna around the world. At a recent event hosted by RPA in Los Angeles, Kat Gordon, Founder of 3% Movement, said, “Invite Yourself to me, means to think about what you want. So many times we edit ourselves and think that this isn’t for me. Believe in what you want and it will take you there.”
The initiative involves industry leaders: giving their time, sharing their experience, igniting new connections and providing opportunities for the women on the program to grow and learn from.