Cannes Lions announced the launch of the Glass Lion: The Lion for Change; an award with the support of LeanIn.Org which specifically recognises work that challenges gender bias and shatters stereotypical images of men and women which remain rooted in marketing messages.
“We are humbled to be described as a global benchmark for creative excellence. Creativity has the power to change culture, and the wider world, in a deeply positive way. So rewarding creative work that fights to address the (mis)representation of gender in marketing communication is something we hope will lead to real change across the industry and society,” commented Philip Thomas, CEO, Lions Festivals.
Cannes Lions will donate all proceeds from the Glass Lion entry fees and put them back into a programme that promotes and enables the creation of a more gender-neutral media landscape.
The introduction of the Glass Lion: The Lion for Change follows on from the 2014 launch of See It Be It; the Festival initiative which aimed to accelerate creative women’s careers in advertising.
“To date, a predominantly male voice has informed the creation of a lot of the marketing messaging. Applying creativity to capture the hearts and minds of the largest consumer base in the world – women – will inform the financial future of this industry. This will require a more gender-balanced talent pool,” explained Senta Slingerland, Director of Brand Strategy, Lions Festivals.
The visibility of See It Be It resulted in Facebook COO and Founder of LeanIn, Sheryl Sandberg, urging Cannes Lions to consider the launch of a Lion specifically to tackle misrepresentation of gender.
“You can’t be what you can’t see – and how we market to women is critically important. If our messages to women – and men – portray equality, we will help create a more equal world. LeanIn.Org is thrilled that Cannes Lions is making the Glass Lion a reality so we can all applaud advertising that is more representative of the world as it should be,” said Ms Sandberg.
Founder & CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld/MakeLoveNotPorn, Cindy Gallop, has been appointed as the inaugural Glass Lions’ Jury President and is a vocal supporter of the award.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled about the introduction of the Glass Lion, which demonstrates Cannes Lions’ commitment to ensuring that both our industry and the work we create not only more accurately reflects the world around us, but actively changes it for the better. I am honoured to be Jury President, and look forward, together with the jury, to celebrating work that will set the gold standard for creative and sociocultural change,” shared Ms Gallop.