Meet #WomenCannes

In the last few months we’ve finally been seeing a shift in the advertising world. Diet Madison lead the way calling out the predators and speaking up for discrimination happening all over the agency world. Agencies starting to make changes to their senior management structures and slowly, we are seeing a safer place for female creatives (and otherwise) to quite frankly, do their thing.

It’s been a long term passion project of the YCC to try and help young creatives ‘get into’ the industry and prevent unpaid/little paid work, and of course, doing out bit to change the 11% rate of female creative directors.

So when #WomenCannes popped up on our Instagram feed, fresh off the press, we wanted to know more and with that being said – we managed to get a little bit behind the scenes of ‘Women Cannes’ and here’s where we netted out

What is your mission?

Our mission is simply to give women hope – that despite the other obstacles that they may need to overcome to make it in their careers, sexual misconduct will not be tolerated by the industry they find themselves entering into today. This is about giving women and men the ability to stand up and show that they are allies in that.

There’s a lot of very sad news out there in the world right now. News that should’ve been brought to the fore before. But the reality is, this spans the industry. Agencies need to be brave enough to speak out on the issues despite the real risk they face of exposing what their cultures may have tolerated in the past.

But there’s so much fear.

This is why the Advertising Times Up events weren’t as revolutionary as people had hoped – the people involved weren’t willing to take the risk of having a real (and potentially exposing) conversation.

So we need industry movements that span wider than the agencies and holding companies people work for. Only outside forces can take the charge on advertising’s Times Up moment.

We call on women and men in agencies and Cannes to wear black on June 22nd as a statement of safety and solidarity with women who have experienced sexual harassment – and to say Times Up for good. If you’re at Cannes, keep your eye out for one of the 500 tattoos we have on the ground.

Tell us about why this is important to you.

As the lioness answering your questions, I can say that I am doing this because I have personal experience of sexual harassment and misconduct and I wish that I had been given the tools to identify what was wrong and to protect myself earlier in my career.

And I also wish that I had entered into an industry that I knew would support me if I had come out at the time. I speak for myself, but it is a common theme amongst the group of women associated with #WomenCannes.

Will we be seeing any more from you folks over the next few weeks?

We certainly hope so. We are an active group who also work in this arena whilst working in agencies so we’re about. This activity is anonymous to protect ourselves, our agencies and our integrity – it can’t become an agency project or about any individual for it to have power.

If you’re not at Cannes, can we still get our hands on some tattoos and wear them in support?

Yes – 3% events will be giving them out, as well as FCB Global Parents Cannes and Creative Women Can Change The World.

Can you tell us a little bit about the Lioness that designed the tattoos?

Hmmm, that one’s tough. How about, she’s not important enough to go to Cannes… (yet) 😉 – in her own words.

For anyone trying to make this industry a better place, we’ve got your backs and a platform of followers who believe the same. Tell us what you’re up to and whilst you’re at it,

  • follow @womencannes,
  • wear black on the last day of Cannes (no matter where you are)
  • And sponge on that tattoo with pride.