It's 10 a.m. in the middle of a chaotic week at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and the Ipsos-sponsored Girls' Lounge at Hotel Martinez is like a sunny pocket of zen. A woman sleeps soundly on a plush lounger while others eat fruit at a shaded table overlooking a bright blue Mediterranean sea. Some are choosing outfits from a Rent the Runway closet before their first meetings of the day.
Visitors include senior execs from agencies and publishers, women at a range of earlier stages in their careers and a young student traveling for a U.N. program. Their conversations may turn into budding friendships that could ultimately lead to multi-million dollar deals. But deal-making is not necessarily what the lounge is about, or what Ipsos OTX CEO Shelley Zalis is thinking about as she leaves the research giant to launch a new home for The Girls' Lounge, which she originally founded, called TFQ Ventures.
After leading us on a tour of the space, she explained why she's taking the Girls Lounge on the road, thanks to 10 sponsors including Ipsos, and the growing interest in what the lounge offers: thought leadership and panels, fundraising for women's issues, good old networking and a safe haven for busy women trying to make it in a world still dominated by men.
Video shot by Karel Brissaud