Thought Leaders in association withPartners in Crime

Gold, Sweat and Tears: See It Be It and Being a First Timer in Cannes

Advertising Agency
New York, United States
INFLUENCER: Commonwealth//McCann's Alexandra Vaca returns from Cannes inspired by the 2018 programme

I always thought I was going to make it to Cannes, but I never imagined my first time there would have brought me Gold... Gold in the form of a true VIP experience designed to help balance the gender and diversity disparity in our industry.

Me, along with 20 other promising creative leaders from around the world, were selected to be a part of the See It Be It programme. A gem created by Cannes Lions to shine a spotlight on the strong female creative powers that are working to get to the top. With leaders like Chloe Gottlieb, Madonna Badger and Louise Benson, this year's programme was accurately themed 'Leading from Within'.

We didn't compete in the creative competition, but we nourished our minds with exclusive content and amazing mentors like Tea Uglow and even a surprise encounter with David Droga. We sweated on the beaches while getting one on one sessions with Google and Facebook's leaders. We shared tears of joy after hearing each other's personal stories and backgrounds.

But the greatest takeaway is now having the tools to go back to our countries and help make some much needed change. And help programmes like McCann's LATAM Women Leadership Council become a staple of why diversity is not only a trend, but a great business decision, as Antonio Lucio demonstrated in his talk at the Lumieré theatre.

After this, our job now is to come back as leaders, get on that stage and win some Lions with exceptional creative and purpose-driven work. Now it's our turn to become the example other female creatives need to see, to be it.

Alexandra Vaca is associate creative director at Commonwealth/McCANN Ecuador    

Work from McCann Worldgroup