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The Empower Cafe is launching at Cannes Lions 17th-21st June 2024

Sign up to register your interest in thought-provoking panels, workshops, fireside chats and networking...

Welcome to the Empower Lounge at Cannes Lions — a woman-centric inclusive hub for the creative, media, technology and advertising industries. In this inspiring cafe space, people of all genders gather to forge meaningful connections, share expertise, and foster a supportive network. As we champion diversity and inclusion, the Empower Hub brings the underrepresented voices of women to the forefront of Cannes Lions, sparking vital conversations and empowering professionals in a relaxed and collaborative environment.

Located at L’Avenue, Empower Cafe is a stone’s throw from the Palais. It lies at the heart of the festival both geographically and as an official part of the Cannes Lions 2024 programme. From Monday to Friday throughout the festival, it will host a range of curated content and networking opportunities as well as providing an inclusive and dynamic hub for people who work in the creative, media, technology and advertising industries to meet.

Please note, although the space is designed to provide a designated area to celebrate women in the industry, all genders are welcome!

Find us at: L'Avenue 1-5 Sq. Mérimée, 06400 Cannes, France. 

What Three Words: reassures.reprised.employ

See full schedule here.

See our sponsors here.

See the location here.


The Full Itinerary

Time Title Overview Speakers Sponsor
10:00 Redefining Beauty: The Role of AI and Inclusive Storytelling Diversity, representation, and responsible AI use in the age of artificial intelligence is more important now than ever, particularly as social media continues to accelerate the way people receive, engage with and share content online. Hear from Firdaous El Honsali, Vice-President, Dove Masterbrand Global & North America and Julie Warburton, VP Enterprise Business, Adobe for a discussion moderated by EVP of Social Amy Luca of Media.Monks – on the steps they’re taking to support a world where women, not algorithms, define their own beauty. From limiting screen time to requiring the labeling of all AI-Generated images, to Dove’s iconic Real Beauty campaign which was re-imagined this year to include “Real Beauty Prompt Guidelines” – join us for this insightful discussion on how AI can be a powerful tool for authentic, inclusive and truly differentiated storytelling, when used responsibly.

Moderator: EVP of Social Amy Luca of Media.Monks

Firdaous El Honsali, Vice-President - Dove Masterbrand Global & North America

Julie Warburton, VP Enterprise Business, Adobe 


12:00 Being Seen: Celebrating LGBTQAI+ Trailblazers and Their Legacy of Authenticity This panel discussion celebrates remarkable LGBTQAI+ individuals who have defied the odds and created incredible legacies despite the absence of role models. Our panelists will share inspiring stories of making bold choices, taking risks, and showing up authentically. They'll discuss the challenges of getting their voices heard and the importance of seeing oneself represented. Highlighting the multifaceted nature of the community, the conversation will explore the power of nuance and diversity. Panelists will also share insights on how they choose their projects and how to cultivate self-confidence. This discussion aims to empower and inspire, illustrating that extraordinary achievements are possible for everyone.

Chair: Anthony Leeds, Senior Account Director at Propeller Group  and Co-Director of Communications at Outvertising

Nneka Onuorah, Emmy Award winning Director and Producer

Tamara Littleton, Founder and Executive Chair at The Social Element

Lucy Rennie, Co-Director of Awards, Outvertising and Brand Strategy Director

14:00 In Conversation with Mary Earps

Join Relo Metrics and UK Advertising as we sit down with Mary Earps, goalkeeper for Manchester United and England.

Mary is not just a footballer; she is a trailblazer, role model, entrepreneur, and advocate for the growth and recognition of women's sport. She has diversified her career off the pitch, venturing into property, startups, and punditry, and cultivated a social following of over 2.2 million. Mary has created her own clothing range, ‘MAE27,’ and has grown into one of England’s most commercially-successful women’s footballers. Crowned the ‘TikTok Queen’ and the most followed Lioness on TikTok, Mary has graced the cover of GQ Hype and Marie Claire, and was the first Lioness in history to have her own words in Vogue. Hear from Mary Earps, alongside industry experts, as they discuss the intersection of sports, marketing, and entrepreneurship and be inspired by the stories of these influential figures.

Mary Earps, Manchester United and England number 1 goalkeeper

Maya Herm, Director @ Relo Metrics | Founder, Women's Football Collab

Christina Taylor, Founder, Aim Sky High

Aisling Conlon, International Director for UK Advertising, Advertising Association (Moderator)

UK Advertising at Cannes Lions
14:30 Heads up and out of the sand - it´s time to put the power of the cookieless future into action! Just as we thought 2024 would see the end of cookies, Google pushed the deadline back... again. So, what's a marketer to do? Bury your head in the sandbox like an ostrich, or rise with the innovation emerging from the cookie ashes like a phoenix? Panel Chair: Supriya Dev-Purkaystha, Microsoft
Alexandra Jarry-Bourne, VP of Global Client Partnerships Adform
Caitlin Borgman, CCO ID5
Sara Vincent, Managing Director – Utiq UK
Zuzanna Gierlinska, Data Expert
15:30 "Trailblazing Leadership: Women Shaping Media, Advertising, and Technology"

Join us for an inspiring panel discussion where trailblazing women leaders from the media, advertising, and technology industries share their personal journeys to leadership. Discover pivotal moments, challenges overcome, and invaluable lessons learned along the way. Gain unique insights into industry-specific opportunities and obstacles, and hear firsthand how these dynamic leaders navigate their careers while advocating for inclusivity and innovation. Whether you're an aspiring leader or a seasoned professional, this session will provide practical advice, empowering stories, and a deeper understanding of what it takes to thrive at the top of these rapidly evolving fields.

Chair: Rose Bentley, Chief Client Officer at Propeller Group

Eva Bojtos, Director of Social Media @ Sharkninja EMEA

Elizabeth Herbst-Brady, CRO at Yahoo

Deborah Armstrong, SVP, General Manager Media Networks and Advertising EMEA and Country Manager UK and Ireland at The Walt Disney Company

Dionne Harmon, President of Jesse Collins Entertainment

16:30 WACL Drinks - Turning the tables: What can future leaders do to ensure better representation In this candid discussion, leaders from major networks and key industry players will explore actionable strategies for achieving better representation in business. Brixton Finishing School alumna and future leader Kiana Joseph will pose critical questions on how these goals are not only attainable but essential for the future success of businesses.

Chair: Kiana Joseph, Brixton Finishing School
Laura Fenton, OMG CEO
Elizabeth Anyaegbuna, Co-Founder 16x9 Media, Ex Bloom President
Naren Patel, Founder MEFA

Lori Goode, CMO Index Exchange

Songtradr and Mail Metro Media
18:30 Empowering Eachother - Kick off to Cannes Lions
Attending the Cannes Lions festival can be overwhelming for many, with its vast array of content, countless networking opportunities, and the endless cityscape to explore. Many attendees find it challenging to maximize their festival experience. That's why we've introduced the Empower Cafe—a welcoming "home base" where you can listen to engaging content and network in a comfortable setting.

To kick off the week, we invite you to join us for an exclusive dinner with a discussion featuring women who are finding new ways of supporting eachother both within the industry and around the world. 

Chair: Sachini Imbuldeniya, CEO, House of Oddities LTD

Patti Boyle, CMO of Dstillery

Shira Jeczmien, CEO and Founder Screenshot Media

Becky Wixon, Creative Strategist and Music Producer, Songtradr

Songtradr and Mail Metro Media
09:00 BBC Studios on female leadership, confidence and finding your power Join us for a bold discussion on being a woman today in media, focusing on reclaiming power and confidence. Our esteemed panellists will share their experiences, challenges, and successes in navigating the media landscape. Discover strategies to build self-assurance, advocate for yourself, and break through barriers: with BBC Studios, UM Worldwide and GroupM . 
Jasmine Dawson, SVP Digital, BBC Studios
Natasha Byrne from UM Worldwide
Katty Kay, US Special Correspondent for BBC Studios
Katie Grosvenor, Chief Engagement & Growth Officer, GroupM UK
BBC Studios
10:00 The Taylor Swift Effect Fandoms are a powerful economic force that can significantly impact sales and business performance. The "Swift Effect," demonstrated by Taylor Swift's remarkable ability to boost sales and engagement merely by her presence, and several players—on and off the field—are reaping the benefits. Among the big winners is the NFL, attendance of Swift at one NFL game led to 27 million in viewership, the most for a Sunday night game since Super Bow 23 and much of that spike was due to increased viewership from women. Her presence also led to a 400% spike in the sales of her beau's jersey. With this much scoring happening off the field, join us as we delve into "Fandom - Taylor's Version," where we'll explore the impressive off-field impact of the Swift Effect.

Moderator – Aisling Conlon, International Trade Director, UK Advertising, Advertising Association
Speakers TBC UK Advertsing at Cannes Lions
12:00 CTV Ads Unleashed: Crafting Quality in the Digital Age As Connected TV (CTV) becomes an attractive platform for businesses, high-quality advertising is paramount. This panel will explore the challenges of maintaining a premium advertising environment on CTV, addressing concerns from technological, subscription-based, and traditional TV perspectives. Experts will discuss the risks of poor-quality ads, such as viewer disengagement and brand damage, and share strategies to ensure effective, engaging, and high-standard advertising. Attendees will gain insights into leveraging CTV’s potential while avoiding pitfalls, ensuring their campaigns resonate with the audience and uphold brand integrity.

Robin Langford, Premium Content Editor, PMW

Lauren Barnett, Agency Lead at Samsung Ads

Vicky Foster, VP Global Commercial Partnerships at, Adform

Kim Brown Oredugba, Vice President, MediaLink

14:00 Beyond Buzzwords: Cultivating Genuine Allyship in Business

"Allyship" is a term frequently used in the industry by companies aiming to show support, but what does it truly mean, and what does being a genuine ally look like? When businesses fail to get this right, they risk losing talent, alienating marginalized groups, and ultimately harming their bottom line. However, it's crucial to understand how authentic allyship can positively impact a business.

In this discussion, we will explore how businesses can identify their shortcomings and effectively champion diverse workforces, thereby fostering a more inclusive and successful environment.

Chair: Lori Meakin, Founder and CEO of The Others & Me, Exec Committee Member at WACL 

Sherrese Clarke Soares, CEO and Founder, HarbourView Equity

Sheereen Miller - Russell - SVP Client Parnerships and Inclusive Solutions at Warner Bros Discovery

Sherrese Clark Soares, CEO and Founder, Harbour View Equity

Barby Siegel, CEO Zeno Group

Tia McPhee - Global Brand and Partnerships Director at the FT


HarbourView Equity Partners
15:30 Embracing the Power of Data to Build Community in Fitness with Strava Zip and Sammy will discuss how they're collaborating to bring Zip’s marketing vision for Strava to life by merging their deep understanding of the brand-customer relationship with data-driven insights to inspire action and boost business outcomes.

Join these two powerhouse female leaders to learn how to leverage data for a holistic approach that combines performance and brand marketing, and discover how to use marketing technology, cultural insights, and creativity to drive community engagement and long-term growth.
Strava Chief Business Officer Zipporah “Zip” Allen
Wpromote’s VP of Integrated Media Sammy Rubin
16:30 WACL - Female Leaders meet-up Join UK Advertising at Empower Cafe as we celebrate the resilience, innovation, and leadership prowess of women from around the world who are shaping the future of advertising. Speakers TBC UK Advertsing at Cannes Lions
10:00 It’s time to level-up on a global scale—How brands can help even the playing field in women’s sports and esports Women's sports and esports are (finally) enjoying the fanfare they deserve—from the limelight to main character energy—but brands are still holding back when it comes to their investment of time, energy and dollars. But the time to change that is now. While traditionally male-dominated, both arenas have witnessed a monumental shift towards greater gender inclusivity and representation, from the record-breaking turnout for Arsenal ladies at Emirates Stadium to pioneering initiatives like ESL Impact which fosters inclusive spaces for women to excel in games like Counter-Strike. It’s been decades since Title IX and women are just as active in the world of sports as men—in fact seven-in-ten women play video games—which means that brands can no longer afford to ignore them. After all, consumers everywhere are eager to connect with brands that not only “see” them, but which speak to them in authentic ways and on their terms. Learn how your brand can become a game-changer in this dynamic landscape. Chair: Mary Cirincione, VP Americas, Propeller Group
Jasmin Haasbach, VP Global Brand Partnerships, Head of Europe at ESL FACEIT Group
Giulia Zecchini, Commercial Partnerships Strategy Director at ESL FACEIT Group
12:00 Addressing the Hidden Career Challenges Women Face During Life Transitions This session will look at how seemingly standard life & professional TRANSITIONS tend to have a much greater (negative) impact on women’s careers vs men, how very little is currently done to support women at those times and what we can do to change that. We all know about the hardship of return from maternity, or entering menopause – but we’ll explore a few more that are just as insidious, but not often talked about. Tia Castagno, CEO and Founder, UnlockYourBlock  
13:00 Lotus Flower Refugee -
"From Survival to Impact: Taban's Journey to Drive Global Change"
Taban is a child genocide survivor from Saddam Hussein’s era in Kurdistan, northern Iraq in the 1980s. After she and her family survived imprisonment and a deadly plot to bury them alive in a mass grave, they were rescued by Amnesty International and then arrived in the UK as refugees to start a new life.
Taban was horrified to see ISIS waging another genocide in her homeland in 2014, and after returning as an aid worker, she started The Lotus Flower from the floor of her London living room 18 months later.
In January 2024, she received an OBE for her work supporting refugees and displaced people. To mark Refugee Week, we interview Taban about her experiences and discuss how brands can help tackle some of humanity's biggest challenges.
Taban Shoresh OBE, CEO and Founder of The Lotus Flower

Interviewed by: Lisa Goodchild, Founder Digilearning
14:30 The Power of Perspective: Pioneering Women in Threat Intelligence For five years now, the largest and most sophisticated adtech companies have collaborated to share intelligence about malvertising attacks through TAG’s AdSec Threat Exchange. Whilst only 26% of the global cybersecurity workforce is female, women in digital advertising are leading the way in the collective fight against criminal threats. Join us as we highlight these pioneering women and explore the AI-powered threat landscape they face. Chair: Emily Roberts, Founder, The Women in Programmatic Network Michal Nissenson, Director of Partnerships at GeoEdge Kristina Gubanov, our VP of Global Operations, Index Exchange Rachel Nyswander Thomas, Chief Operating Officer, TAG TAG
15:30 Workshop: Confidence & Overcoming Self Doubt in the Workplace Join us for an interactive game of snakes & ladders to represent the highs and lows of career building & professional life. The climbing and the setbacks, covering big scary topics from getting promoted to dealing with imposter syndrome in a relaxed way that encourages conversation. Through the game, we get to discuss openly, as well as share our experiences, to provide tips and tools to help you tackle moments when your confidence dips as well as hold on to the highs to help boost you when you need it. Sara Jolly, Head of Gaming Brands, Entain & Lola Neves, CSO, Neverland Neverland

Beyond Influence: How Creators Are Reshaping Business, Representation, and Community

The creator economy is exploding, marking a new era where creators are transforming business models, leading culture, and empowering communities on a scale like never before. From launching empires to redefining entertainment, and driving representation globally, creators are shaping this new era of business. It's not just about marketing trends; it’s the future of connection, representation, and community power. Join us for an insightful discussion to explore the role and opportunity for brands in the shift.

Nishma Robb, WACL - moderator

Tobi Demuren, Global Head of Advocacy Marketing, LinkedIn.

Becky Owen, Global CMO, Billion Dollar Boy

Emily Trenouth, Head of Influencer Relations, Amazon
Creator, Alanna Doherty 

Billion Dollar Boy

WACL - Represent Me


Through our Represent Me campaign, we are calling on the advertising industry to take immediate action to improve the representation of all types of women, both on-screen and behind the scenes. Despite ongoing demands from women for better representation in ads for their work, data on gender equality in society indicates that progress is not guaranteed. Join us for a discussion around this important campaign.

Nishma Robb, President of WACL


Billion Dollar Boy
09:00 Beyond Advocacy, Championing with Heart

Champions are more than just mentors; they are powerful advocates who actively work towards your growth and success. They support your aspirations, advocate for you, and amplify your presence, even when you are not in the room. 

Drawing from the principles of It Takes A Village Collective, the panel will highlight why everyone deserves to be championed and the significant impact that champions can have on your personal and professional development alongwith how to initiate and cultivate these vital relationships.


Host: Chloe Davies - Founder & CEO: It Takes A Village Collective

Emma Harris, The Chief, Glow London

Collette Philip - Founder, Brand By Me

Harsh Kapadia, CCO: MRM

Simon Cook, CEO, Cannes Lions

10:00 The Reality of Sharing the Care: 

Catalysing support for parents across the creative industry

In this discussion we explore how parents, in particular primary care givers, balance and approach the tension of wanting to participate and attend key work commitments, like the Cannes Festival, with juggling the pressures and realities of raising kids. What are the choices to consider? Why are parents often made to self-sacrifice? And how as an industry can we support parents by creating more inclusive environments and greater understanding? 

Panel Chair: Chloe Davies, Founder and CEO, It Takes a Village

Marci El-Deiry, Global Business Unit Leader, Philips Mother and Child Care & Women's Health

Frank Starling, Chief DEI Officer at Cannes Lions

Sandrine LE Goff, Executive Creative Director, Le Pub

Philips Avent
12:00 WACL - CEO Playbook WACL’s purpose, to accelerate gender equality in our industry, will be only achieved when 50% of all roles are held by women, right up to CEO. But at the current rate of progress, we won't get there until 2060. We refuse to wait that long! So we did rigorous analysis and identified 5 levers of change that will best drive progress. Karen Stacey, WACL incoming President, and Lianre Robinson, Chair of WACL’s Campaigning Committee, will share them, along with case studies from the WACL 50% CEO Playbook. Karen Stacey, CEO at DCM and Vice President of WACL
Lianre Robinson, General Manager EMEA at 1021 Creative and WACL Campaigning Chair
13:00 The Untapped Potential of Women's Sport Women’s sports, especially football, have increased in popularity massively over the past few years. However, the brands tapping into this huge potential audience are few and far between, with a massive misunderstanding of how to take advantage of this growth area. While many brands are comfortable with women’s sports for purpose-led campaigns, we’re seeing huge success with brands that evaluate the audience, looking at the opportunities to reach not only women but families and men in a different mindset when watching the game. This session will discuss the possibilities from a brand, agency and player perspective to uncover what's possible. TBC Propeller
Good partner, bad partner: A no holds barred conversation around successful partnerships—What it takes to build them, and what it takes to keep them.   What does it take to be a good partner these days? A good client, a good consultant… everyone wants to wax philosophic about the agency model and whether it’s broken/needs to evolve/can’t go anywhere, but they may not be focusing on the right thing—which is the relationships… because everything lives and dies by those.  Chair: Mary Cirincione, VP U.S., Propeller
Beth Wade, Global Chief Communications & Integration Officer, VML
Cristina Tazza, Chief Strategy Officer, Design Bridge and Partners
Marisa Thomas, Chief Marketing Officer, Good-Loop 



Location & Address


L’Avenue is located directly opposite The Palais Des Festivals in a buzzing square, in a prime location for the Festival and all the activations, and only 5 minutes from the beaches. We're in the heart of the action, and cannot wait to welcome you to the space. 

L'Avenue 1-5 Sq. Mérimée, 06400 Cannes, France

Empower Cafe