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0.1% of the world's ad agencies are women-owned.

It's time we worked to change that.

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The World Economic Forum has published their 2022 edition of the Global Gender Gap Report — which examines and unpacks the lack of balance between women and men across four key areas: economic opportunity, education, health & survival, and political empowerment. This year's report reveals some unpleasant truths about how the gender gap isn’t improving — that parity is actually backpedaling into even murkier waters post-pandemic.

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If we continue progressing at the same rate as the report's findings, it'll collectively take us 132 years to close the global gender gap — gender parity is simply not recovering after substantial losses between 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report also examines the state of gender gaps in the workforce, as structural barriers and economic shocks continue to largely – and disproportionately — impact women’s workforce outcomes.

It's time the creative industry stood up to the Global Gender Gap. On this page, we're collecting (and regularly updating) our favourite resources from creative women around the world who are standing up to inequality in the industry. Check back regularly for our favourite think pieces, interviews with groundbreaking women in creativity, and opportunities with Cannes Lions and beyond.

What's inspiring us

Articles and work we love by creative women around the world.

The empoWOMENt series

This series by The Great British Businesswoman shines a spotlight on some of the inspiring women breaking down barriers, leading by example, and paving the way for the future of women in the creative industries.

Age gap

Creative Review explores why studios and agencies aren't hiring or retaining older creatives.

Addressing the creative sector's gender divide

Rowan Morrison, founder of a Scotland-based comms agency, speaks out about rising levels of inequality within her industry

What we're reading

Book recommendations from See It, Be It alumni Karo Gómez, Tescia Deák and Lama Bawadi

"“Women navigate life among permanent contradictions. Women think they will only be seen as doers when they over do. We get lost in trying to arrive. In order to take our rightful place sooner rather than later, we need to accept that we are enough exactly the way we are. Enough to lead, enough to experiment, enough to thrive and enough to be.”"

Swati Bhattacharya

See It Be It Ambassador 2020

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Introducing See It Be It

The ‘See It Be It’ talent programme was founded in 2014 by Cannes Lions with the mission to achieve equal gender representation of creative directors and leaders across the global industry. Over the past 9 years, we’ve elevated a worldwide community of 100+ creatives - positively impacting the gender representation we set out to equalise.

Each year the See It Be It alumni group has amassed additional cohorts which have grown and mobilised the community. This expansion has created a movement and achieved the ripple effect of women embodying the programme in their everyday lives, bringing learnings back to their local agencies, communities, and countries.

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88% of young women feel they don’t have a female role model or a business mentor to look up to. Which isn’t surprising as less than 1% of ad agencies are founded by women. How do we change this? We need to thrive, support each other, and empower younger generations to head feet first into the industry and enter positions of leadership.

Women are enough, yet in order to equalise, the global industry has a lot of work to do.

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Applications are open to women, trans-identifying and non-binary people. Applications close on 13 February and the full See It Be It 2022 cohort will be announced in April.

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity takes place from 19-23 June 2023, in Cannes, France.