Alongside notable transformations to the programme, See It Be It has opened to receive applications, with enrolment closing on 1 April 2016

See It Be It, the Cannes Lions initiative supporting and developing the industry’s underrepresented female creatives, is seeking candidates for 2016. Launched in 2014, the inspiring programme recruits women from around the world, sponsoring them in full to attend the Festival. A unique platform, it is designed to accelerate careers.

During event week, participants are mentored by industry trailblazers, hear from leading thinkers, meet high-profile speakers, observe judging behind-the-scenes, and connect with peers. Also, past attendees have progressed to more senior industry roles and advocated for industry equality, amplifying the effects of the conference.

A desire to increase positive outcomes is behind some changes for 2016, including a newly appointed See It Be It ambassador, live brief addressing the gender imbalance issue, longer duration, additional places as well as the participation of specialist health, innovation, and entertainment creatives.

“Underrepresentation in the industry has received enormous attention in the last two years, but to see long-term cultural change, we can’t afford to take our foot off the pedal. We want to develop the careers of more creative women through See It Be It, addressing the gap in the most direct way we can, whilst ensuring the issue remains firmly in the spotlight,” said Philip Thomas, CEO of Lions Festivals.

Leading the charge is Sarah Watson, Chief Strategy Officer at BBH New York. Her primary role involves championing the platform’s goals of industry gender equality. While an advisor, she will provide mentorship to participants during the Cannes Lions as well as offer input into a special task the group will undertake.

See It Be It is about giving people new ideas about themselves and what they want to become. It is transformative for those involved and for the industry at large. Just thinking about it is exciting; I can’t wait to get started,” said Watson, inaugural ambassador for See It Be It.

Meanwhile, integral to the practical approach of the programme will be the completion of a task designed to directly address gender disparity across creative fields in a highly visible way. Attendees will receive a brief prior to the Festival and workshop ideas together during their time in Cannes.

Each will use the inspiration and learning from their experiences as a springboard towards a tangible solution which benefits the broader industry. Mid to senior level candidates working in a branch of branded communications can visit the dedicated website for further details, the full selection criteria, and the opportunity to apply, if interested.

In line with the Festival’s three specialist events—Lions Innovation, Lions Health, and Lions Entertainment—and ensuring the breadth of the industry is represented, creative women from these fields are being actively sought from this year, in addition to those from traditional agency environments. In total, 15 participants will be included in the four-day programme and receive a Festival pass, flights, and accommodation.

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