Campaign reported Unilever CEO Paul Polman and Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed implored political and business leaders to embrace diverted diversity by fighting against stereotyping, as it ultimately hurts White women. It’s still unclear why Unilever feels qualified to lead the charge, as the advertiser has historically created the stereotypes now being condemned. Polman declared: “Empowering women and girls offers the single biggest opportunity for human development and economic growth. It goes without saying, it’s crucial for business. … The World Economic Forum’s latest Gender Gap Report notes that we may not achieve economic equality among men and women for another 170 years. That’s just not good enough. We need to lead the change in tackling unhelpful stereotypes that hold women—and men—back.” If it’s going to take 170 years for White men and White women to achieve economic equality, how long will minorities have to wait?
Unilever calls on leaders to drive fight against stereotyping
Unilever’s chief executive, Paul Polman, and chief marketing officer, Keith Weed, have called on political and business leaders to recognise the effect of stereotyping and take action to tackle it.
The FMCG giant unveiled, a study that surveyed more than 9,000 people in eight countries: Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Turkey, the UK and the US.
It found that gender stereotypes both remain highly pervasive, and have a significant impact on people’s lives.
Among the findings were that:
• 60% of women and 49% of men say that stereotypes personally impact their career, personal life, or both
• 77% of men and 55% of women believe that a man is the best choice to lead a high stakes project
• Two thirds (67%) of women feel they are “pressured” to simply “get over” inappropriate behavior
• The majority of both men (55%) and women (64%) believe that men do not challenge each other when they witness such behavior
• A large majority, 70%, of respondents believe the world would be a better place if children were not exposed to gender stereotypes in media and marketing
• 75% said it was the responsibility of senior leaders to take action
The research comes seven months after Unilever launched #Unstereotype, its ambition to completely eradicate gender stereotypes for its ads.
Weed said: “Stereotypes and social norms have a huge impact on gender equality issues globally. Whether consciously or unconsciously we are all subject to the biases in our mindsets.”
The survey sample was a mix of Unilever employees and members of the general public, and was split roughly equally between men and women. Polman and Weed unveiled the research at a panel discussion at the 2017 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Polman added: “Empowering women and girls offers the single biggest opportunity for human development and economic growth. It goes without saying, it’s crucial for business.
“The World Economic Forum’s latest Gender Gap Report notes that we may not achieve economic equality among men and women for another 170 years. That’s just not good enough. We need to lead the change in tackling unhelpful stereotypes that hold women — and men — back.”
The brand that sells skin whitening (sorry, "lightening" cream) so dark-skinned women in the developing world don't have to "suffer" having dark skin?
The brand that recently marketed their dark chocolate covered ice cream by hiring a Black man to sit in a bath of chocolate? Then refused to comment on it afterwards, despite being called out in the press, because that type of issue was just beneath their interest level, apparently?
The answer to when Unilever will give ethnic diversity the same consideration as white female gender diversity is "never." As in, they never have shown interest, never will show interest.
No one in advertising cares. They just don't care. Case in point:
These women are bothered mightily by there being not enough women in photos of ad agencies that definitely do have women, just not in the high positions they'd personally prefer.
NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM ASKED WHY THERE ARE NO BLACK MEN IN 95% OF THE PHOTOS.
Not one of them noticed, or cared, or had the cultural knowledge to realize that some of the agencies that put up pictures of black men, used pictures of celebs BECAUSE THERE ARE SO FEW BLACK MEN WORKING IN ADVERTISING.
But please, white ladies, go right back to ignoring that and making sure you've got your share of management positions before you ever stop to remotely consider anyone of color.
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