See It Be It is a program that aims to further women in the creative industry, encouraging them to grow their careers and reach senior positions. Across three days, 12 women will be part of an inspirational program which will take place during Cannes Lions.
We’ve reached out to these 12 selected creatives to get their thoughts on the concepts of leadership, femininity and success, all of which Getty Images continues to challenge in our latest #RePicture campaign.
Cheyney Robinson is a Creative Director at SapientNitro, London, UK
At Getty Images, we’ve been tracking the changing visual dialogue around females. Are you noticing shifts in how women and girls are represented in the creative industry both at the agency and client side? Are you satisfied with the way that females are currently portrayed?
We’re at an incredible inflection point. I do think there’s a greater awareness and sensitivity to the impact of depictions of women and girls. I am always pleased when campaigns and brands courageously depict realistic body shapes, or instill self-confidence, support female empowerment and celebrate individuality. However, we still have a long way to go. It’s more of an evolution than a revolution! Stereotypes of women are still quite pervasive in advertising, reflecting both male bias and obvious lack of diverse contributor population. Portrayals of femininity are often written from a male perspective, and the over-sexualization of women and girls still annoyingly persist.
The “lens” is still most often a male gaze (‘the depiction of women as seen through a male POV’). Though, I do feel portrayals are changing. More female directors, progressive brands and contributions from User Generated Content are leading the way to fresh perspectives in this new visual landscape.
This year 4 out of 17 jury presidents at Cannes Lions are women, more than any previous year. Are you seeing more women entering senior creative roles across the advertising industry? Does more work need to be done to elevate women into these roles?
I am seeing more women in the creative industry, some in leadership roles. However this is still not the norm, nor is it gender-balanced. There are many women entering the creative field but few making it to senior ranks. There are absolutely women out there who are rising stars, and we need to nurture them! It is incumbent upon agencies to identify these women, support them, provide learning & development opportunities, public speaking training, mentoring and advocacy.
Achievable career progression, flexible working arrangements, robust maternity & childcare policies for ALL caregivers, and programs for reintegration post maternity are all vital areas that organizations can do to better support women. Recognition of the ‘whole’ employee is fundamental to realize the potential of women’s contribution and career progression.
If you can visualize success and leadership for women today what would that picture look like? What would it look like in 5 years?
Success and leadership for women TODAY looks like women doing what they do, how they do, as they do. It would feature credible depictions of women in the glory and banality of business, the grit and the grime, the sweat equity and the very moment of a profound and inspired thought. Success and leadership is ‘getting a seat at the table’, being trusted, valued and exudes confidence.
In 5 years, success and leadership has opened a door, or a window, to enable us to develop another generation of female creative. I’m a big believer in “lifting as we climb”, and taking responsibility and accountability for growing others and succession planning. That picture, would be someone I’ve mentored, perhaps even now mentoring others as well. That would make me very proud.
Who’s your professional female hero/crush? Why?
Hard question! If I were to delimit the consideration set to women in my field, the ranks would be perilously thin. I can think of a few female MD’s and perhaps one female creative. This is a problem. What is so profound about the “See It Be It” initiative, is our mission to shine a light on the under representation of women in senior creative leadership. Quite simply, if you don’t see women, hear their unique stories, learn from their unique perspectives, it is hard to aspire to something that may feel unobtainable or out of reach.
In lieu of having real-life role models, I have opened the ‘aperture’ a bit… This fantasy steering committee has a rotating panel from Oprah Winfrey to Maya Angelou to Arianna Huffington... But if I had to pick one…
Oprah Winfrey is my hero. She is quite literally one of the most influential women on the planet. I am fascinated by her personal story from humble roots, overcoming enormous adversity to her boundary-breaking television career, creation of a media empire and her philanthropic pursuits in Africa. Oprah is an inspiration to me because she has helped so many people change their lives through education, to become their “best selves” and realize their potential.
Cheyney Robinson joined SapientNitro London in January 2011 as Creative Director. She works with clients across US/EU/EE/APAC, leading retail innovation and brand experience for a portfolio of international clients including Tesco, M&S, Vodafone, Manchester United and Adidas.
She most recently directed and launched the Marks & Spencer MCFP (the £38m multi-channel, Amazon-replacement program), comprehensive of digital experiences and editorial strategy designed for 6 channels (desktop, tablet, mobile, kiosk, in-store, customer service) across 9 localisations and included a next generation store format, the "eBoutique" in Amsterdam.
Previously, Cheyney served as Creative Director at agencies including Fluid and Razorfish, where she created digital experiences for brands such as North Face, Theory, CK, Vera Wang, DVF, Coach, Benefit and Mercedes-AMG. In addition, she has held in-house senior creative roles at Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor and Microsoft.
Cheyney attended Yale University (MFA, Graphic Design) and received a dual degree at Parsons School of Design (BFA, Communication Design) / New School for Social Research (BA, Psychology).
Join the conversation online by using #RePicture, and help us challenge convention.
Widen the visual representation of Beauty, blur the lines of Family and Community, and create a new vision of Success.
To participate, upload the photo you’ve taken (consenting subject only of course) to either Twitter or Instagram, and add the #RePicture hashtag – tag the @GettyImages handle on Instagram. Our Editors will highlight their favorites.
Follow us here and on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to see all the concepts we’re discussing and find out how you can participate - or if you’re heading to Cannes Lions, join us in the Palais during the Festival.
Editor's Note: Please note, by adding #RePicture to your photos, you grant us only the right to publish your images, credited to you, on our Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook accounts.