On International Women’s Day, Foundry joins CPB London, Assembly Global, OPEN Media, KWT, and Good Stuff to change the narrative
By: Rachael Ferranti & Foundry | 3/8/2023
When he shouts in the meeting, he’s seen as being passionate about his work. When she shouts, she’s hysterical. He’s ambitious. She’s pushy. He’s assertive, but she’s bossy.
All too regularly, we use different language to describe the same behavior based solely on whether it’s performed by a man or a woman in the workplace—a problem that creative agency CPB London brings poignantly to light this International Women’s Day with their Double Standards campaign.
CPB’s campaign is an effort to educate and bring awareness to the unconscious gender bias—the automatic mental associations and assumptions we make based solely on gender—and to encourage people to dismantle the gendered narratives that course through our homes and our professional and social circles by changing the words they use to describe female behavior.
In a series of digital and out-of-home ads that leverage the language of unconscious gender bias to bring awareness to the phenomenon, CPB highlights how sexist language perpetuates the stereotypes we assign to women in everyday settings. The campaign shows some of the most used gendered terms to criticize women, in stark contrast to terms used to describe the same behavior that we celebrate in men, bringing unconscious habits to the fore in a powerful, relatable moment.
Many of these juxtaposed terms are recognizable in the workplace.
The campaign is a compelling reminder that there is much work to be done on the path to female equity and inclusion. Even as women increasingly share the same space as men, assume leadership positions, and are celebrated for their contributions and ideas, there is much work to be done. And for these biases to be acknowledged and reconstructed in the workplace and beyond, organizations have a responsibility to educate and act.
At Foundry, promoting diversity, equity and inclusion is work that we take seriously. We take care to ensure that our efforts and stances are not mere acts of virtue signaling but are supported by real action. While we know the problems caused by bias cannot be solved with words or money alone, we back up our words with resources where we can.
That’s why, this International Women’s Day and throughout the week, we’re proud to support CPB’s Double Standards campaign by donating ad space across our editorial sites like CIO.com—sites that host hundreds of thousands of technology leaders and strategic professionals daily—in the hopes that we can leverage our influence to raise awareness at global scale.
As companies continue to promote D&I efforts within their own organizational makeup and beyond, provocation of thought at the level that CPB has produced should take a leading role. With the capacity businesses have to reach people en masse, the opportunity to influence minds and inspire action has never been greater. As marketers, it’s exactly what we succeed at every day when it comes to promoting our own business agenda. Imagine the change we could make if we collectively put our resources and our creativity to work towards promoting a more thoughtful, equitable world.
CPB London’s campaign doesn’t stop at awareness and provocation—it calls viewers to action with a downloadable quick-start guide on sexist words to avoid, and a pledge that individuals and organizations can sign to stop the use and address the impact of gendered terminology. Explore the campaign here.