VMLY&R COMMERCE UK
Fri, 11 Mar 2016 16:16:40 GMT
All this week we’re watching women celebrate and share their achievements, both big and small, for International Women’s Day. Last time I looked #internationalwomensday was trending at 1.63 million and full of inspiration.
Personally, I hold fast to Albert Einstein’s philosophy: "Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts." And look at his staggering triumphs.
I have always been fuelled by a belief that as women we can do anything if we put our heads down, demand help when we need it, and then go for it.
That said, I’m no stranger to a lack of parity between men and women, having experienced it first hand during my career journey to CEO – and it’s true, too few leadership roles are held by women in our industry. That’s why I cheer International Women’s Day, which forces us all to re-evaluate what action we can take personally and professionally to challenge inequality.
The good news is that the industry is tackling gender disparity by doing what it does best: raising awareness of the power of women [according to Google Consumer Survey, 53 % of women believe that "ad campaigns have a strong influence on how women are perceived in society"] and with true insights into what inspires women, building brands with purpose.
Last year’s remarkable “Not There” campaign removed women from ads for IWD. Driven by the Clinton Foundation, women from around 40 advertisements, posters and other media were part of a campaign calling attention to gender inequality. Women across New York literally vanished. Serena Williams faded from a giant Beats billboard in Times Square. Scarlett Johansson disappeared from the March cover of W magazine. Sheer brilliance.
This year, a stand-out campaign for me is tech giant Microsoft’s #MakeWhatsNext campaign celebrating women inventors, how they changed the world and inspiring the next generation of girls – currently out of step with STEM studies.
And of course, the iconic Dove campaign, along with Under Amour & #LikeAGirl, have all struck a chord with women everywhere.
In the emerging world, 31 Bits produces eco-friendly jewellery sold in the US providing economic opportunities for Ugandan women. The initiative gives women health education, finance training, business training, confidence, social equity and a voice. Compared to the average woman in Uganda, 31 Bits designers have been 63% more likely to be tested for HIV in the last year and are 60% more likely to have control over the money they earn. They also earn eight times more money than they did before working at 31 Bits.
As marketers, we all have the ability to 'nudge' people towards new ways of thinking and while International Women’s Day is an important day, the conversation needs to continue as we shape behaviour for the better.