Take 5: How To Make Ads More Gender Equal & Shift Culture

Shelley Zalis of The Female Quotient, Jennifer Breithaupt of Citi, Marc Pritchard of P&G andBob Liodice in the Girls’ Lounge @ CES

Media defines culture, and culture defines change. Advertising can be a force for good, says Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at P&G. “Advertising and media affect perceptions, whether it’s positively or negatively. Why would we not want to live in a world that is equal? The reality is, it isn’t equal, but we need to do whatever we can to be 50/50.”
The #SeeHer movement is breaking barriers by bringing together top advertisers to use their voice and power to help erase bias and stereotypes in media. “Our purpose [for the #SeeHer movement] is to increase the accurate portrayal of women and girls in ads and media by 20% by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote,” says Bob Liodice, CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). “We’re marrying the art of creativity with the science of measurement…with the Gender Equality Metric (GEM) score [to help us achieve this].”
Here are the top takeaways shared by leaders of the #SeeHer movement inside the Girls’ Lounge at CES on how to make ads more gender equal. Watch the full discussion here.
Have diversity both in front of and behind the camera. “Make sure there is equality in the creative supply chain of at least 50/50…Look at the data and start tracking to hold people accountable.” ~Marc Pritchard
Adopt an equality mindset. “Unconscious bias is an excuse. Once you’ve become conscious of an issue—such as the wage gap or stereotypes in ads—it’s no longer unconscious.” ~Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient
Men have to be part of the change. “This is not a woman’s issue…The enemy is inaction. It’s not enough to be a man who doesn’t harass or bully or objectify. We have to step up and take action.” ~Marc Pritchard
Each of us must walk the talk. “It starts at home. We can’t ask others to do what we’re not doing ourselves….We’re committed to gender equality—enhancing the standards we hold ourselves to and inspiring others to change their mindset. We’re on this journey together.” ~Jennifer Breithaupt, Global Consumer Chief Marketing Officer at Citi
Push for intersectionality in ads. “We’re also trying to make sure we have a lot more intersectionality [in our ads]. Equality is race, creed, disability, ability, religion…we need to start moving away from all these divisions.” ~Marc Pritchard
Equality is a choice — and it’s up to all of us to play our part!  For more on equality in media and advertising, check out:
Katie Couric and Other Top Leaders on the State of Women in Media & Ads
A Surprising Reason for Gender Inequality in Ads—And How To Fix It
Actress/Director Aisha Tyler on Diversity in Media & Gender Equality in Hollywood