See It Be It ambassador hails a watershed year for women
Sometimes the world really does change for the better — and, after years of debate, complaint and frustration, it looks like it’s finally happening for women in the creative industries.
“I think we’ll look back at 2018 as a watershed year in terms of diversity and inclusion,” said Chloe Gottlieb, chief creative officer of R/GA and this year’s ambassador of See It Be It, the Cannes Lions initiative that seeks to address the gender imbalance in creative leadership. Gottlieb takes the ambassadorial baton from Madonna Badger, advertising legend and founder of #WomenNotObjects, who is now serving as the programme’s chair. Both women were on stage with See It Be It executive lead Louise Benson to welcome the 2018 participants to Cannes, where they will be immersed in seminars, mentoring sessions and meetings with industry luminaries under the theme Leading From The Inside Out.
Pointing to the #metoo movement, Gottlieb said people around the world and across industries were rising up to demand “more transparency, diversity and truth in leadership”. She added: “#metoo was the spark that started a fire that’s going to burn down structures. And things are going to look very different.”
Badger agreed: “#metoo and Time’s Up have started a wildfire that’s spreading around the world. Women are saying, ‘No more!’ There’s now an awareness that things must change, and that’s huge, because awareness is the thing that happens right before action.”
Addressing the 20 young women who make up the See It Be It class of 2018, Gottlieb said that the path can be very lonely for women in leadership roles. “The power of the sisterhood you are forming here in Cannes is a gift,” she added. “Creating that circle of trust and respect, and asking tough questions and getting honest answers is probably the greatest thing that will come out of this week. And I’ll learn more than any of you, because being the See It Be It ambassador is a reminder to always have that learning mindset. I don’t have all the answers but we’ll find them together.”