See It Be It

Diversity in the spotlight at Cannes Lions 2016

Diversity has never been bigger than it was on the main stages at Cannes Lions this year. And we have produced a new report bringing together some of the main issues on the topic.

Read the report

See it be it in 2017

See It Be It will be taking place once again at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity with applications opening in January 2017. If you are interested in signing up please click here and we will contact you via email when applications open.

Get in touch


How participants are chosen:

Each year we look for people who are:

  • 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; who hasn't 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


A team including representatives of Cannes Lions and the See It Be It Ambassador review candidates and create a shortlist for follow-up interviews.

We aim 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 each year will be those we believe can most benefit from the experience and advocate strongly for industry equality.

Here's what some of our past alumni had to say:

"As we heard again and again, it's not about men (or women for that matter) doing "right" for women. It's actually the bright thing to do for our industry. Diversity raises the bar. It's profitable. It looks forward."

"You can walk away with a new group of allies and with higher goal posts in which to measure your own success."

"Getting access to all these incredible female role models also makes you realise how much you've lacked them in the past."


See It Be It is a tailored, Cannes Lions initiative, aiming to accelerate the career progression of high-potential senior creative women and change the ratio of female leaders in agency creative departments.

Diversity was pivotal to the 2016 Festival programme, with more focussed sessions and speakers on the stages than ever before, including Gender Equality is No Laughing Matter, hosted by the Girls’ Lounge; Unleashing the Power of Diversity in Tech, Hosted by Girls who Code and keynotes by Madonna Badger, CCO of Badger and Winters and Kim Getty, President, Los Angeles – Deutsch.

Launched in 2014, See it Be It is a response to industry gender imbalance. Fewer women than men are joining creative ranks and even less will climb the ladder. Worldwide, it’s estimated that only 25% of agency creatives are female and just 3% reach Creative Director level.

The programme aims to address this issue by developing high-potential creative women and bringing them to the attention of the industry. Raising profiles, expands contacts, building confidence and accelerating participants down the leadership path.

Three cohorts have now been through the programme, coming to Cannes Lions as special guests of the Festival. They take part in a curated series of main stage seminars, with behind-the-scenes jury room access, specially-designed workshops with awarded senior creatives, one-to-one mentoring from a raft of the most respected, inspiring industry leaders and exclusive networking opportunities.

See It Be It is a proven career-accelerator, also focused on increasing impact by ensuring participants pass on the benefits of their experience as they progress and continue to advocate for industry gender equality.

2014 Alumni, Cheyney Robinson, the recently appointed Chief Experience Officer of Isobar EMEA/APAC, who returned to SIBI in 2016 as a mentor, said:

“See It Be It offered the single most powerful dimension (once missing) in my career – a shared mission with a rising global network of incredibly inspired, talented women – who together, can accomplish any task set forth. This, with access to the very best of what Cannes can offer, will open doors, shatter glass ceilings of bias and inequity and offer new and exciting futures for this year’s very worthy group of creative women.”

2017 See It Be It Ambassador

Madonna Badger
Chief Creative Officer, Founder, Badger & Winters

Madonna Badger is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Badger & Winters, an advertising, branding and design agency that was named a 2016 Ad Age Small Agency Award winner. Badger & Winters specializes 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. 

Prior to founding the agency Madonna was at Calvin Klein, when she created the Mark Wahlberg and Kate Moss campaigns, and launched CK One. In 2009 she partnered with Jim Winters, who led marketing at Vogue and is an expert in women’s brands. Madonna, who was most recently named one of Ad Age's Women to Watch 2016, has been featured in Vogue and WWD, named one of Daily Variety’s The Gotham 50, Crain’s Forty under Forty and one of Glamour’s Women Who Took Big Risks – And Reaped Big Rewards. 

More recently, Madonna announced that she and the agency would no longer create imagery that objectifies women through the #WomenNotObjects campaign, which was awarded the 2016 #Femvertising Award for Social Impact and shortlisted for three Cannes Lions. Due to this commitment and her advocacy, Madonna has been tapped to speak at many engagements on gender equality and the harm that the objectification of women in advertising has on our youth, as well as businesses. 

Madonna gave a keynote speech at Cannes Lions 2016 titled “Sex, Lies and Advertising” and participated in the Clinton Global Initiative panel “Tackling Gender Bias in the Media Through the Power of Advertising.”  

Previous SEE IT BE IT supporTERS

Some of the industry's most inspiring members were involved with See It Be It in 2016, speaking at exclusive seminars or as part of the mentorship programme. See them below:

Susan Credle
Global Chief Creative Officer,

Charles Day
The Looking Glass – A Creative Leadership Practice

Kathleen Griffin
Founder & CEO,

Pip Jamieson
Founder and CEO,

Katty Kay
BBC World News America,

Adam Kahn
Executive Creative Director,

Cheyney Robinson
Chief Creative Officer,

Gabriela Lungu
Integrated Communications Creative Lead

Sarah Watson
Global Chief Strategy Officer,

Kate Stanners
Chief Creative Officer,
Saatchi & Saatchi

Pelle Sjoenell
Worldwide Chief Creative Officer,
BBH Group

Past parcipants have included

In 2016...

Marta Fraczek –  Saatchi & Saatchi/Interactive Solutions, Poland
Mariana Borga –  Dieste, USA
Krystle Mullin – FCB, SIX, Canada
Ulrika Plotniece –  DDB, Latvia
Katherine O'Brien – Code & Theory, USA
Carrie Dunn –  72andSunny, USA
Lucy-Anne Ronayne – Havas London, UK
Diana Triana –  J. Walter Thompson, Colombia
Scarlett Montanaro analogfolk, UK
Natasha Romariz Maasri –  Ogilvy & Mather, Brazil
Jade Tomlin –  Hugo & Cat, UK
Kbox Balbastro – DIGITASLBI, Singapore
Lauren Smith –  TBWA\Media Arts Lab, USA
Miruna Macri – MRM/McCann, Romania

In 2015...

Mara Binudin - Creative Director/Design & Conceptual Art Direction
Mariana Borga - Creative Director, JWT Sao Paulo
Marta Caseny – Creative Director, VCCP
Tove Eriksen Hillblom - Copywriter, Forsman & Bodenfors
Katherine Glover – Copywriter, DDB South Africa
Sally Hastings - Senior Art Director, Heat
Kia Heinnen - Senior Art Director, Droga5
Maddy Kramer - Senior Art Director, VML
Nikki Lindman - Senior creative, BBH London
Ilia Márquez - Senior Copywriter
Yumiko Ota

In 2014...

Nivedita Agasha - Creative Group Head, DDB Mudra Group
Juliana Ardila - Art Director
Biba Cabuquit - Associate Creative Director, DM9JaymeSyfu
Celeste Dalairac - Regional Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi London
Stefanie DiGianvincenzo - Creative Director
Jenna Livingston – Copy Director, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Erica Pressly - Associate Creative Director, Droga5
Cheyney Robinson - Chief Experience Officer, EMEA & APAC, Isobar
Jem Robinson - Design Director, FreeAssociation
Ulrike Schumann - Freelance Copywriter, Owner of Dotti's
Angie Sun - Creative Producer, Moonbot Studios
Melo Xu