Launched in 2014, the See It Be It initiative aims to provide a unique opportunity to accelerate career progression and change the ratio of female leaders in the industry. Each year, an international group of high-potential women are brought to Cannes Lions as guests of the Festival and experience a tailored programme designed to develop, expand networks and raise the profiles of all involved.
“An ever increasing focus on the disparity between women and men in senior creative roles across the industry demonstrates the need for programmes like See It Be It. We’re delighted to welcome Madonna as this year’s See It Be It Ambassador. Her continued challenging of the industry to change the norms of objectifying women in advertising and campaigning for equality make her a fantastic role model and natural fit for the programme,” said Louise Benson, Executive Festival Director – Lions Health, Lions Entertainment, Eurobest and See It Be It programme lead.
Through the #WomenNotObjects campaign Madonna has become a spokesperson for responsible portrayal of women in advertising. In a stand out speech at last year’s Cannes Lions she highlighted the importance of business empathy for brand reputation and purchasing intent and revealed the damaging impact objectifying advertising has.
Madonna will guide the See It Be It participants through a curated programme of exclusive events, seminars and workshops along with a dedicated mentorship scheme.
Speaking on the announcement Madonna commented, “I am so honoured and excited to be named the See It Be It Ambassador for Cannes Lions 2017 and look forward to meeting next year’s group of talented women. The mentorship programme is an amazing game changer that provides the opportunity for women to collaborate, learn from each other, build confidence in their abilities, and develop actionable steps for how we can make a difference around gender equality and diversity in our industry.”
The See It Be It programme has so far welcomed three cohorts, many of whom have seen their careers progress and their network of successful female role models and diversity champions expanded. Increasing the impact of the programme, participants are supported and encouraged to pass on the benefits of their experience through advocating for gender equality.
The entry period for applications to the programme opens on 25 January 2017 and will close on 10 March 2017.
Source: Cannes Lions