The Female Artists Who #MakeEqualityMoves
From where we stand today, gender equality is still 202 years away, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report. We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait that long!
That’s why The Female Quotient teamed up with the Burns Group, a female-led, NYC-based brand transformation company, to launch the #MakeEqualityMoves initiative at The FQ Lounge @ Cannes Lions. The idea behind the campaign is simple: to challenge companies, leaders, and everyone to Make Equality Moves through specific action steps across The Female Quotient’s four core pillars: Parity, Advancement, Culture, and Leadership.
To bring the four pillars and action steps to life, female artists Laurène Boglio, Ery Burns, Marina Esmeraldo, and Angela Southern created artistic representations of each of the four pillars, which are being displayed on the walls and on sneakers, inviting people to join the movement, pick a pillar and make major moves to advance equality.
It’s estimated that 51% of visual artists in the United States are women. However, a recent survey of 18 prominent art museums in the US found that, out of 10,000 artists featured, 87% are male and 85% are white. We asked the female artists behind #MakeEqualityMoves campaign about how to flip the balance for women in the art world, where their inspiration comes from, and why they stepped up to the cause. Here is what they had to say.
I’m inspired by…”I do look at other artist’s work online a lot, but I would say what I find most inspiring are the people that surround me, especially my friends.”
I hope to use my art to help people see the world in a new way by…”I like to trigger the moment of connection people have when they look at an image and realize they share an emotional response.”
I was attracted to the #MakeEqualityMoves project because…”There are so many cliches about how you see a woman leader; it’s funny and ridiculous. I loved the opportunity to work on this problem. My inspiration for the art with the hands passing signs with letters is more like people passing a flag to each other, and leading the way for others.
The equality move I make is…“I love the work they do at Women’s Aid, which helps victims of domestic violence. Also, in the workplace in general, instead of hiring someone because she is a woman, hire her because she is the best. In the beginning, quotas may be needed to get us closer to equal, but hopefully it will become normalized to hire both women and men without needing quotas.”
I’m inspired by… “Everything! Patterns in nature, animals, colors in the universe, shapes in architecture, ancient cultures, alien worlds, bad things, good things…the list is endless, and my imagination usually takes care of the rest.”
I hope to use my art to help people see the world in a new way by… “I wouldn’t want to force people to see the world my way, just to help them see it from a different perspective.”
In order to flip the balance for women in the art world, we need to… Maybe museums need to embrace change as well and not just cling onto dead men’s work. It should be about the art regardless of gender, and not who you know and how many parties you can show your face at. I also notice a lot of female artists on Instagram using their bodies to sell their work which seems a bit demeaning. The fact that they need to go to such extreme measures to get noticed makes me wonder what kind of world we still live in, and whether they are just catering for a male audience. I hope this doesn’t help perpetuate the bigger issues women already face with gender equality.
I was attracted to the #MakeEqualityMoves project because…”I liked the idea of using fashion [in the form of sneakers with equality messages] to influence people to make a change for the better.
The equality move I make is…”Knowing that I’m a woman, I try to be confident in what I do, and where I can, encourage other women to do the same and believe in themselves.”
I’m inspired by…”Travelling, music, reading, art history, architecture, and trying to see beyond the surface of my usual surroundings. Women’s anger inspires me a great deal, too.”
I hope to use my art to help people see the world in a new way by…”I chose to represent a joyful space where our women are strong, powerful, independent and free, represented in a fashion where they are not afraid to get what they want, as well as not being bound by any specific beauty stereotype. I hope any woman will be able to see themselves in these strong characters!”
I was attracted to the #MakeEqualityMoves project because…”Equality has been a hot topic for the last three years, but we still don’t see a major shift in that direction, particularly with so many governments facing tremendous regression in the hands of the bigoted far-right. We constantly need new projects with the theme. Also, so many individual world cultures have their fundamental basis on elements of womanhood, and this needs to be recovered. Culture can also change, and new cultures can emerge. Cultivating a feminist culture across the globe is fundamental.”
The equality move I make is…”With my work, I aim to always represent diversity and women’s rights. In my talks and lectures to audiences of hundreds and sometimes thousands, I always advocate for equality—not only for women but for people who are of color, non-binary and disabled. And in general, I always try to support women-owned businesses and women’s rights legislation.”
I’m inspired by… People who make things happen and create something out of nothing, and who make the world a better place just because they decided to.
I hope to use my art to help people see the world in a new way by…I was motivated by looking up the synonyms for “advancement.” They’re all positive and action-oriented words. I wanted my design to look classy and serious, but also empowering.
I was attracted to the #MakeEqualityMoves project because…“As a woman, I was like sign me up!”
The equality move I make is… “I’m helping to spread awareness by letting everyone know that we’re not there yet [in terms of gender equality]. It will take time, but change will happen.”
To see the artists’ work come to life and watch people taking action steps while wearing the #MakeEqualityMoves sneakers, follow us on Instagram.