Soul POVs

Gender Equality and Diversity Removes Stereotypes In Advertising

Written by Lauren Bray

This year at Cannes there’s certainly been a vein of equality. In particular, gender equality has been a common thread raise in all sessions I have been to in some capacity. I wasn’t expecting this. Although this is an issue which I am interested in and passionate about, very few of the sessions I chose to attend were themed around equality and the challenges people face simply because of the bodies they were born into.

Diversity more broadly is important to the work we create and ensuring we continue to develop fresh ideas/perspectives. It helps deliver truly creative thinking and work to remove stereotypes from advertising. It’s interesting however that this wasn’t often reflected in panel diversity and not just in the expected sense that there were most commonly more men on panels than women (which was certainly my experience.

In a couple of sessions when the topic was more tightly focused on gender equality there were panel of only women. You could argue we’re just rebalance the scale however I think if we want to truly drive equality and diversity we must bring different opinions into this.

This was highlighted even further in Redefining Miss America in the Age of #METOO, when it was highlighted that gender equality was about educating “our sons” and the men of the future to respect women from the outset.  I agree quite strongly with this however found it quite interesting that there was not a man brought on to the panel when this is a statement the panel agreed with.

Equality was found not just in the presentations and panels but there was a great installation by the Palais by the Female Quotient with amazing quote and thoughts from the festival attendees.

Tonight will also see the announcement of the winner of the Glass award the award to represent work doing change. All shortlisted campaigns can be found here: There are some great examples of work surrounding all forms of equality, my favourite may be The Pregnancy Pause from Mother USA. This was quite an eye opening approach to explaining the resume gap pregnancy can bring and highlighting how hard work maternity leave really is. Particularly in the U.S where paid maternity is not guaranteed.