UN Foundation to Champion Girls and Women at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2023

Foundation leaders will advance diversity, equity, and inclusive representation as Festival marks its 70th anniversary

Washington, D.C.

June 14, 2023


Megan Rabbitt

UN Foundation Vice President for Girls and Women Strategy, Michelle Milford Morse to convene industry leaders for timely conversations on gender equality at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2023.

Through a series of roundtables, panels, and other events Morse will call attention to underrepresentation of girls and women across industries as well as harmful gender norms and stereotypes that stand in the way of gender equality. Together with Pinterest, the Foundation will host a roundtable with marketing executives to foster meaningful dialogue around creating more inclusive, intersectional, and diverse representations of women that challenge gender norms as well as our own conscious and unconscious thoughts and biases. She will also join The Female Quotient for a discussion with senior executives about why women continue to shoulder the bulk of caregiving responsibilities, and how companies can better support women in the workplace.

“Girls and women are denied the opportunity to write their own story — to author the future they want — because they generally don’t get to hold the pen. Instead, stubborn biases and norms define how and when girls and women are seen or heard,” said Michelle Milford Morse, Vice President for Girls & Women Strategy at the UN Foundation. “I’m thrilled to partner with some of the brightest minds at Cannes Lions to challenge the stereotypes and lack of representation that hold girls and women, in all their diversity, back from realizing their rights and full potential.”

Her focus on meaningful inclusion and equality for girls and women complements efforts by Festival organizers to elevate diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the week’s programming. It also comes at a time of immense challenge in the global movement to advance gender equality.

  • The Gender Social Norms Index (GSNI), covering 85 percent of the global population, reveals that close to 9 out of 10 men and women hold fundamental biases against women. Nearly half the world’s people believe that men make better political leaders than women do, and two of five people believe that men make better business executives than women do. (Source: United Nations Development Programme)
  • Women currently lead only 53 Global 500 companies, an all-time high. (Source: SRHM Executive Network / Fortune)
  • Women are underrepresented in newsroom leadership, gender equality stories are going untold, and men remain the vast majority of quoted experts and sources. (Source: International Women’s Media Foundation)
  • A global advertising survey revealed that only 3% of ads featured women in leadership roles, while just 2% portrayed them as intelligent, and only 1% portrayed them as having a sense of humor. (Source: Unilever)
  • 137 countries do not offer paid parental leave, which has a disproportionate impact on women in the workforce as they shoulder the bulk of unpaid care work. (Source: World Bank)
  • Nearly 2.4 billion working-age women live in economies that do not grant them the same rights as men. (Source: World Bank)

Continuing the Foundation’s emphasis on elevating the voices of those most at risk of being left behind, Senior Director for Integrated Communications, Sueann Tannis will also participate in this year’s Festival as President of the Health Grand Prix for Good jury panel. The Health Grand Prix for Good recognizes extraordinary examples of creativity developed by non-profit and charitable organizations to advance good health for all.

“I’m honored to return to Cannes Lions to once again support the Health Grand Prix for Good,” said Sueann Tannis, Senior Director, Integrated Communications at the UN Foundation. “Creative campaigns that educate, inspire, and move others to act are essential to bring about the change we need to ensure everyone, everywhere can enjoy good health and well-being.”

In addition to supporting the Health Grand Prix for Good, Tannis will also lead a fireside chat hosted by Unilever, “A View from the C-Suite on Black Women in the Workplace, Beauty and Hair.” The conversation will explore redefining beauty standards and the cataclysmic potential of the Crown Act, which seeks to end hair bias and discrimination.

About The UN Foundation
For 25 years, the UN Foundation has built novel innovations and partnerships to support the United Nations and help solve global problems at scale. As an independent charitable organization, the Foundation was created to work closely with the United Nations to address humanity’s greatest challenges and drive global progress. Learn more at www.unfoundation.org