See It Be It

The LIONS initiative aiming to achieve equal gender representation among creative directors and leaders across the global industry

Most senior creative positions around the world today continue to go to men.

The advertising industry has worked hard in recent years to create equal opportunities for all. Still, women and non-binary people are heavily outnumbered at the senior leadership level.

Through See It Be It, we’re aiming to change this. Our goal is equal numbers, across genders, across all levels of seniority.

Please note, applications have closed for See It Be It 2024.

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What is See It Be It?

Since 2015, we’ve worked with the Geena Davis Institute to study gender representation in advertising. We’ve also studied representation in terms of race/ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation and body size.

See It Be It is our response to the gender imbalance that continues to persist in the creative sector. Every year, we invite 16 women and non-binary people to Cannes Lions for our four-day programme – which includes mentorship opportunities and private masterclasses with industry leaders, as well as backstage access and session invitations tailored to each participant’s career goals. Since launch, we’ve helped over 100 women and non-binary people from 33 countries.

What does the programme include?

If you’re selected for See It Be It, you’ll get a fully funded trip to the Cannes Lions Festival, including accommodation and travel. You’ll also get a VIP Cannes Lions Festival Pass, so you can access every stage and session. This is in addition to what’s outlined above – mentorship opportunities, private masterclasses and a fully bespoke programme just for you.

Who can apply?

We invite all women as well as all non-binary people to apply. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes both cis and trans women.

You need to work in a mid- to senior position in advertising, marketing, filmmaking, innovation, editorial, design, PR or any other related disciplines.

We don’t have an age limit for See It Be It. If you think you’d benefit from the programme, we welcome your application.

Not sure if you’re eligible? Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

How do you select who gets to join the programme?

Every year, we receive over 600 applications for See It Be It – and we judge every application on its own merits through a rigorous three-stage process.

First, we use a jury of over 40 See It Be It alumni to create a shortlist of around 60 candidates. Our jurors are creative directors, art directors, creative partners and copywriters from around the world, so they know exactly what it takes to get into See It Be It and the impact it can have on your career.

We then invite the shortlisted applicants to a phone interview with the LIONS See It Be It team.

Our final decision is based on the outcome of these interviews, as well as the original application.

How can I apply?

Applications for See It Be It 2024 are now closed and judging is in progress. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted week commencing 5th February.

How much does it cost?

Applications are free.

Important dates

We accept applications until 8 January.

The See It Be It programme will take place during the 2024 Cannes Lions Festival on 17–21 June.

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Madonna Badger

The See It Be It Chair

Madonna is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of advertising, branding and design agency Badger & Winters, winner of the 2019 Ad Age Small Agency Award. Badger & Winters specialises in building brand love with women and has worked with brands like Avon, Chanel, Cover Girl, Diane Von Furstenberg, Godiva, Nordstrom, Pepsi, P&G and Vera Wang. The agency has produced work for over 40 countries in 27 languages. Madonna Badger has been at the heart of See It Be It for many years and is central to the programme’s expansion.