See It Be It

Essential information

See It Be It Dates

19 – 23 June 2016

Application deadline
Applications for the 2016 programme are closed. Successful candidates will be announced at the end of May.

Course Overview

An exclusive programme to accelerate career progression of high-potential senior creative women, addressing the gender imbalance in agency creative departments.

What's included?

  • A Cannes Lions Complete pass
  • Accommodation
  • Return economy flights to Nice
  • Curated Festival content
  • Bespoke sessions
  • Exclusive events
  • Jury room access
  • Meet & greets with speakers
  • 1 to 1 mentoring


 How does it work?
 Who are we looking for?
 How are participants chosen?
 This year's Ambassador
 How to apply

“Women and girls are eager to see marketing that celebrates their strength and agency – when marketers deliver these messages, the cultural and economic impact is significant.”

Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook; Founder, LeanIn.Org

“Since half the population are women, the idea that we would be tying one hand behind our back in terms of economic development of any sort is crazy.”

Anne M. Finucane, Global Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Bank of America

What is it?

Significantly less women than men are joining creative ranks and even fewer are climbing the ladder. Worldwide, it’s estimated that less than 25% of agency creatives are female and just 3% are Creative Directors.

See It Be It is a Cannes Lions initiative which addresses this issue by developing high-potential creative women and bringing them to the attention of the industry. Hear from last year’s participants in the video below:

how does it work?

Each year we invite a group of the most talented creative women to Cannes Lions for an exclusive programme of Festival talks, access to jury rooms, meet and greets with speakers and mentoring by the industry’s most inspiring women. The group also work together on a task designed to address the issue of industry gender diversity in a practical way.

It’s an experience that raises profile, expands contacts, builds confidence and accelerates participants down the path to leadership.

Who takes part?

Those interested in being part of See It Be It are invited to apply. They should be:

  • Part of the branded communications industry; advertising, marketing, film-making, innovation, editorial, design, PR or a related discipline
  • A creative; copywriter, art director, strategist, technologist, developer, designer, writer/producer or similar
  • Mid to senior level; with at least 5 years’ experience but less than 10 
  • An award-winner; in internal, local, regional and/or international competitions
  • A Festival first-timer; you won’t have judged or attended Cannes Lions before
  • Fluent in English, comfortable talking to media and addressing an audience
  • Active in social media, a published thought-leader or speaker

How are participants chosen?

A team including representatives of Cannes Lions and the See It Be It Ambassador will review candidates and create a shortlist for follow-up interviews. Everyone who applies will be notified whether they made the shortlist, but are unfortunately we’re unable to provide individual feedback.

Successful candidates will be creative women from all walks of life and corners of the globe. We expect to include many creative disciplines, companies, industries and nationalities, however there are no quotas for these criteria as selection is based entirely on suitability.

The final 15 women chosen will be those we believe can most benefit from the experience and advocate strongly for industry equality.

The See It Be It Ambassador

Sarah Watson
Chief Strategy Officer, BBH New York

We are proud to announce the appointment of Sarah Watson as the first See It Be It Ambassador. 

Sarah will champion the programme’s goals, act as an advisor, accompany participants during the Festival, provide mentorship and input into a special task the group will undertake.

Sarah joined BBH NY as the agency's first-ever CSO in 2011, where she has transformed strategy and planning, embedding it deep into the creative process and pushing for bigger, more resonant ideas across all media. Over the years, Sarah's strategic excellence led the creation of award winning work for clients like PlayStation, Netflix, Seamless, Johnnie Walker and Cole Haan.

Sarah is committed to finding and championing strategic talent from a wealth of backgrounds. She was responsible for spearheading the agency’s ‘Griffin Farley Search for Beautiful Minds’ – a three-day mentorship program culminating in a talent showcase in honour of a late colleague. She was a Trustee of Fawcett, the UK's leading gender equality campaigning organization for many years and now advises equality non-profits in America.

Sarah lives in Greenwich Village with her husband and 2 year old daughter.


Applications for the 2016 programme are now closed. Successful candidates will be announced at the end of May.