See It Be It is a programme 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 programme 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.
Melo Xu is a Creative Director at JWT Shanghai, China.
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?
More and more pics we searched online for ‘office woman’ are at a superior class, wearing a nicely cut suit and a confident smile, usually in middle of something, dealing with her male colleagues. It is beautiful, and you can see how the status of women changed or at least the expectation of the society changed. But an office woman is more vivid. Especially in our industry, women can wear whatever they want to show their personality and unique style, and they are not always wearing such a standardized smile, they are straight out and express their emotions freely.
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?
Yes, I’ve seen women are entering senior creative roles, not huge numbers, but more than ever. I don’t think the key to entering a higher level are ‘doing more work than others’, I believe women did equal work as men did even they are at the interior. Workload is not the key, it’s more about confidence and passion, if you don’t think you deserve a promotion and are eager for it, no one will push it.
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 or not, should be defined by the one herself, not by the others. Success is not about the title, the salary, it’s about self-satisfaction and self-affirmation. Different women would have different fate, different opportunities, different dreams…as long as they are pursuing what they want full heartily, they are successful.
About leadership, lead one-self is harder than lead others (but you have to lead yourself well before you can lead the team). As a leader of the team, you can disguise if you are not confident enough, but you can’t deceive yourself. You have to 100% believe yourself, believe every decision you’ve made, and be fully responsible for yourself.
Who’s your professional female hero/crush? Why?
My female hero is Helen Lansdowne Resor. She is the first creative director in the world, it was 1908 —China was still dominated by Qing Empire, and the feminist litterateur Simone de Beauvoir has just born. At such a year, Helen Lansdowne Resor had already lead the biggest creative company —JWT accomplished its transformation successfully. It’s a lot to be talked about, like she was the first one to bring sex appeal into advertising… but to me, the most amazing thing is how she kept her woman’s perspective but beyond the word ‘woman’ define by the society.
I admire a lot of females in this industry, they are not famous, not legendary, they are ordinary employees as creative, account, producer, PA, but they are talented, diligent, accountable, self-respect, they are all my heroes.
About Melo Xu
Melo started her career at JWT Shanghai 10 years ago, in between, she hopped to W+K for two years, and back to JWT again.
During the decade, she has served diverse clients such as NIKE, Converse, DISNEY, AMERICAN TOURISTER, BASF, LUX etc. and bunch of local clients. She also won awards like One Show, D&AD, ADFEST Lotus, and local awards such as The China Great Wall, China 4A, HK KanFan, Longxin etc.
She is blunt straightforward while sensitive; she is rational while run riot now and then; she loves variety in her life while her passion is invariable.
She is so ready for her forthcoming new decade.
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.