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We live in a Mad Men world


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The ad world is still reinforcing gender stereotypes. Products for women even tend to cost more. Which is a sheer lunacy when you know that women control 80% of brand purchases...

Why then? Because there are still few women at the top? Or because the ads are a current representation of our deeply embedded sexist archetypes?
Let's see which campaigns are shifting the balance!

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We live in a Mad Men world

  1. 1. We live in a Mad Men world
  2. 2. An ocean of sexist messages
  3. 3. When the public is offended, the agency or the brand answer it was just humor, trivializing the issue
  4. 4. But sexism is real and lethal as we can see in this Google autofill ad from UN Women
  5. 5. And brands do not only foster gender stereotypes but also price women and men products differently
  6. 6. Products marketed for women and girls are more expensive
  7. 7. La tasa rosa 1.400$ En España las mujeres cobran un 19,3% menos que los hombres a pesar de tener la misma formación y desempeñar las mismas funciones. Algunos ejemplos de diferencia de precios: más que los hombres por productos iguales. Según un estudio del Departamento de Consumo de Nueva York, las mujeres pagan un 7% más que ellos por los mismos productos. Pero solo el 1% de la riqueza mundial está en manos femeninas Población Riqueza Según la revista Forbes, las mujeres americanas pagan cada añoEl 50% de la población del planeta son mujeres 42% Mujeres Hombres Fuente: Estudio “Gender Pay Gap” de la Comisión Europea, 2015 (1.267 €) + 7% Se analizaron 794 productos: de los casos el precio de la versión femenina era superior 18% el precio de la versión masculina era superior En las redes sociales se anima a denunciar estas desigualdades con la etiqueta #womantax -19,3% 40,75 € 42,30 € Lima electrónica 49,50 € 57,00 € Perfume 6,40 € 6,51 € Colonia infantil 13,90 € 23,90 € Juego de construcción 44,90 € 48,90 € Moto de juguete
  8. 8. And it’s a terrible strategic mistake
  9. 9. 9 “The advertising “The advertising “business is a $33B industry. Misunderstanding female consumers, from a business perspective, is sheer lunacy. Kat Gordon Founder, The 3% Conference
  10. 10. 6 Women control 73% of consumer purchasing and $20 trillion of the world’s annual consumer spending.2 They are more active on social networks and more likely to share a brand’s message with others.3 Women also represent the majority of early tech adopters4 , social gamers5 , and are amassing wealth at rates that will culminate in control $22 trillion of US wealth by the end of this decade.6 But perhaps the figure that matters most comes from Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women’s Insight Team, where 91% of women reported they didn’t think that advertisers understood them. In short, the consumers who brands should want to fall in favor with most report overwhelming dissatisfaction with the way brands speak to them. While good creatives are trained to market anything to anyone, a 97% skew (now recalculated to 89% skew) creates a level of groupthink that represents a group not holding the consumer reins. The advertising industry does not have a recruitment problem, but a retention problem when it comes to gender diversity in creative departments. Portfolio schools are graduating equal (if not greater) number of women than men. Yet these same women “disappear” from the field right around the time they have the appropriate level of experience to be CDs. The 3% Conference tackles the many reasons why: lack of mentorship, lack of visibility of female CDs, award show jury bias, lack of support for motherhood and other factors. WHAT AGENCIES NEED TO DO Agencies that care about gender diversity can’t improve upon their current state if they don’t know what it is. A company-wide audit is needed to set current benchmarks before agencies can accurately measure whether their efforts at diversity are fruitful. The same holds true for ethnic and cultural diversity, which also are not reflective of the current consumer landscape, nor are widely measured and tracked.
  11. 11. More progressive ads generate more engagement, visibility and brand impact
  12. 12. WHY then? Still few women at the top of the ad world
  13. 13. Ever since The 3% Conference came into existenc in September, 2012, countless reporters, students and ad folks have reached out to ask where the 3% statistic comes from. While the figure itself is widespread, its origin is not. The number comes from a 2008 dissertatio by Kasey Windels, then a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. In “Proportional Representation and Regulatory Focus: The Case for Cohorts among Female Creatives”1 and he subsequent conference paper, “An Exploration into the Representation of Female Creatives in Today’s Advertising Agencies,” Ms. Windels painstakingly checked the gender of award winners in the 1984, 1994 and 2004 Advertising Annuals of Communications Arts. She found just 3.6% o Creative Directors were female. ART DIRECTORS CREATIVE DIRECTORS 3.6% 9.6% COPYWRITERS 11.6% PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN IN THESE ROLES The advertising industry is still massively run by middle-aged white men
  14. 14. Which explains the resistance to change
  15. 15. But the ad industry is only reflecting our cultural archetypes
  16. 16. Our meta stories are sexist
  17. 17. From all powerful Zeus swallowing his wife Methis and giving birth by himself to Athena To the rape of the Sabines Where no means yes
  18. 18. From the temptress Eve, cause of humankind fall from Paradise To Pandora who opened the way to all evil Created from man’s rib
  19. 19. From virtuous, faithful and expectative Penelope To fairy tales princesses waiting on their death bed for a kiss to come back to life
  20. 20. It is hard to escape from the saint/whore dichotomy
  21. 21. From Marie and Marie Magdalena
  22. 22. Myths create reality • Myths present ideas that guide perception, conditioning us to think and perceive in a way, especially when we are young and impressionable. • We learn what is socially acceptable. • Key for women: myths from male deities religions give a specific image of what it means to be born female: second mate, gullible, to blame for pain, guilty, less wise than men, not of god’s image, tempting man to do wrong.
  23. 23. Importance of creation myths • Gender symbolism in creation stories proves a reliable guide to sex roles and sexual identities in a given society. • Peggy Reeves Sanday: out of 112 creation stories, 50% male deity, 32% divine couple, 18% female deity – When masculine story, 17% of fathers cared for infants. – When couple, 34% – When woman, 63%
  24. 24. We have lived 3.000 years of sexist endoctrination • The symbolic devaluating of women is one of the founding metaphors of the Western civilization. – Messages from the Bible – Messages from Greek philosophes – Messages from psychoanalysts
  25. 25. These myths are so embedded in our psyches that we don’t notice them any more • We have internalized them. Both men and women. • They seem natural, and thus invisible. • And the effect on our psychologies and self-esteem is tremendous
  26. 26. But these myths are false, they are created narratives we need to unlearn
  27. 27. We need to reclaim our true story
  28. 28. And become the heroines of our own lives
  29. 29. We need new stories • We need to create new myths, new archetypes • You have the choice of the narrative • Which story do you want to tell? • Our world is changing, our stories need to change too.
  30. 30. Like system vision shift from Ptolemaic to Copernic
  31. 31. We need to shift the stories from male-centered to humanity-centered
  32. 32. Which initiatives are shifting the balance?
  33. 33. s Windels, “Proportional tion and Regulatory Case for Cohorts among atives,” University of ries n Consulting Group erg and David Adelman, lar Social Media Sites hy Women Are The Behind The Huge Pinterest and Tumblr,” adrigal, “Sorry, Young e Not the Most Important ic in Tech,” The Atlantic gram, “Average Social 43-Year-Old Woman,” m Categories Where ales to Women Are Worth Harvard Business Review 11 Started as a passion project to spotlight a huge business opportunity in advertising — the lack of female creative leadership and its impact on connecting with an overwhelmingly female marketplace — The 3% Conference has grown exponentially since its 2012 launch. Today it is a fully fledged movement: encompassing a 600-person, 2-day annual conference in San Francisco and multi-city “road shows” throughout the world, along with a vibrant online community, agency consulting, and a student scholarship fund.
  34. 34. September, 2014 Sponsored by: FEMALE CDS ON THE RISESponsored by: ON THE RISEON THE RISESEPTEMBER 2014 A 2014 study of women serving as advertising Creative Directors
  35. 35. The percentage of female Creative Directors in the Communication Arts 2013 Advertising Annual reached 11.5%. That’s a 319% increase.
  36. 36. WORKPLACE CULTURE 1 #ClockOutConcept – Create a hashtag for brilliance that happens off the clock and outside the office. This combats the dangerous habit agencies have for valuing availability over creativity. 2 Host a skill-share day where employees can show off some of their hidden talents (playing music, photography, pastry arts, etc.). Complement this with a “Fun Facts” board about co-workers that celebrates how people spend their free time. 3 Implement a “no assholes” role and enforce it. Margaret Keene, Mullen 4 Implement a “no interruption” policy and enforce it. 5 Create a “Sorry” jar and fine anyone apologizing $1. You can still say “pardon me” or “after you” to demonstrate politeness, but kill the self-diminishing instances of women apologizing before they share a thought or ask a question. Use your sorry jar proceeds to host an improv class or other professional development. 6 Invite clients to your office expressly to discuss the issue of diversity and how you can both work together to support it. In an era where agencies are eager to deepen client relationships, proactively addressing an issue that affects a client’s bottom-line shows a true spirit of partnership. 7 Check to see how many women are on the board of your holding company. If none, or few, shoot the CEO an email with the following links: and 8 Implement and promote a variety of flexible work options, including workforce exit and reentry opporctunities, and support women returning to positions of equal pay and status. Flex-time is also proven as a great tactic to retain millennial employees. 9 Establish a clear, unbiased, non-retaliatory grievance policy that allows employees to comment or report on treatment in the workplace. 10 Banish the term “women’s account” from your vocabulary. Virtually every consumer category is dominated by female influence, including automotive and electronics. 11 Enable telework and make it a company policy that flexible work schedules should not affect anyone’s opportunity for advancement. Ernst & Young 12 Amplify the ideas of women in meetings. By reiterating a thought shared and attributing it to the woman who offered it, you endorse worthy ideas and ensure the appropriate person is remembered for them. Christina Knight, INGO 13 Mentor someone (or several someones). 14 If you have a women’s initiative, consider calling it something business minded, instead of a “Women’s Initiative.” Include men in every meeting. Otherwise it’s an echo-chamber of women talking to other women about women. 15 Explore the idea of job sharing to retain valuable employees, especially during transitions where full- time work may not be an option. Offering a very skilled employee 50% of the time is often more valuable to a client than a lesser-skilled employee being at their beck and call. IPA MEN 16 Be open to mentoring young women, no matter if others make suggestive jokes. Young women need your guidance more than you know. 17 If your company has a women’s initiative, attend meetings and get involved. 18 Download our Manbassadors BINGO card and post it in your office. Aim to try one new microaction each week. 19 Join the 3% community and contribute to our blog’s “The 97% Speak” series. 20 Read up on implicit bias and stereotype threat. Talk with your team about key takeaways. 21 Give women the floor in meetings and ensure they’re not interrupted when speaking. 100THINGSYou Can Do Right Now To Help Drive the 3% Number Upward Thanks to the many individuals, agencies and companies who have contributed here, many of whom are recognized in pink type.
  37. 37. Dove campaigns
  38. 38. Axe Find your magic
  39. 39. Ariel Share the load
  40. 40. URUFARMA Uruguay
  41. 41. Cannes Lions festival created a new award to recognise advertising that challenges gender norms Sandberg said in an email that she welcomed their voices. “Brands have immense power to shatter stereotypes and overturn clichés.”
  42. 42. It was not banned by the Advertising Standards Authority despite more than 200 complaints.
  43. 43. Consumers reacting to ads
  44. 44. Same in Germany
  45. 45. Male leaders are taking a stand
  46. 46. Your job is to take part in the change of the myths What are you going to do to shift the balance?