Think the ‘Pink Princess’ culture is just harmless fun?

What do you see when you look at the picture above? (Let’s ignore the lipstick and blusher for a moment).  Sweet little girls in dress-up outfits?  Or the dangers represented by early gender stereotyping?  Sadly, there’s growing evidence that it should be more the latter than the former. It was recently reported that girls as young as six think that 'brilliance' is a male trait and that pay inequality starts in the pocket money years.  [...]

Kevin Roberts – Don’t Hate The Player, Hate The Game

So Publicis Groupe have suspended Saatchi’s chairman for claiming that the talented women who work in his agency reach a certain point in their careers when they actively turn down a promotion, as they “don't want to manage (the) business and people, (they) want to keep doing the work." Hmmm. In the interview, he also spoke about how ‘millennials’ (gah) want careers based on creativity and collaboration, and how the old rules of hierarchy and [...]

Sex only sells sex. Let’s hope the tide is turning in Cannes

Many years ago, I was driving through Rome, admiring the scenery, when I was suddenly confronted by the enormous billboard image of a naked, reclining woman. Perched proudly on her tanned bottom was… Let’s guess, shall we?  Some sunscreen?  Perfume, maybe?  An anti-cellulite gadget?   No.  A packet of pasta. I was a bit taken aback by the level of nudity on a 48 sheet, but more astonished that her bum was deemed to be [...]

And The Award Goes To…!

Some men, winning the best MEN award - This week, Twitter was abuzz with companies congratulating themselves for appearing in the annual ‘Times Top 50 Employers for Women’ survey. Any survey that takes equality in the workplace seriously is to be applauded, of course.  The list features a great mix of different businesses – not just the ones you might traditionally assume to be ‘female friendly’ – lots of Financial and IT companies [...]

Do ‘Women Only’ Events Just Hold Us All Back?

Today is International Women’s Day.  Wouldn’t it be nice if, 100 years after the Suffragettes won the vote and 44 years since the Equal Pay Act, it wasn’t still needed?  Progress remains stubbornly slow. But I have a nagging worry that I cannot shift.  In the seven years since I’ve been running my own business, I’ve attended dozens of women-only networking groups and business conferences.  I was at one yesterday, and once again left wondering - [...]

By | 2017-01-04T19:51:30+00:00 March 8th, 2014|Feminism, Sexism, Gender Equality|2 Comments

Sorry sisters, equal pay isn’t simply a feminist issue

In the news again this week is the recurring topic of the ‘gender pay gap’.  Yet again we read that men earn around 25% more than women, and their bonuses are, on average, double. If you read my last blog, you’ll know I wear my feminist colours proudly on my sleeve, but here’s the thing.  This isn’t simply a ‘women’s issue’.  It’s more a working parent issue, and I’m a little fed up with all [...]

100 Years On, How Much Has Really Changed?

Author’s Note: I make no apology for the length of this blog post.  Sadly, there’s a hell of a lot to say. The 4th June 2013 marked the 100th anniversary of Emily Wilding Davison’s death under the hooves of the King’s horse, but sometimes I seriously wonder how much we've really achieved since 1913. My (girl’s) school colours were those of the suffragettes, purple, white and green, worn proudly in a self-made posy on Founder’s Day.  [...]

By | 2017-01-04T19:51:31+00:00 July 29th, 2013|Feminism, Sexism, Gender Equality|4 Comments

Marketing to Women Needs More Than ‘Just The Facts, Ma’am…’

My December blog took a look at the big retailer's Christmas ads and came to the conclusion that the ones that misfired did so because they didn't correctly connect with women.  Not surprisingly, as women are the major organisers - and spenders - at Christmas, this almost directly correlated to those who subsequently posted poor trading results. This topic is high on my agenda at the moment as I’m working with a brand that is [...]

White Wine For The Lady…

In the wise words of Al Murray's pub landlord, "white wine for the lady, beer for the gentleman... them's the rules.  And where would we be if we didn't have rules?" (Answer: France!). Here in the UK, Molson Coors have pulled their Animée ‘lady beer’ after just one year.  Good. In last week’s Marketing, WCRS Planning Director Matt Willifer argued that Animée was a “brave launch by an admirably innovative company” (?) but suggested that [...]

The Simple Way to Achieve an 11-Fold Increase in Your Business Growth

I came across an article the other day that stopped me in my tracks.  The latest BrandZ report by Millward Brown has discovered a simple way to achieve a 11-fold increase in business growth, but, amazingly, this tip didn’t seem to have reached the business news. So what was it?  Well, it’s actually quite simple.  Ensure there are women on your board. Whilst the number of mixed-sex boards is still a shamefully small minority, those boards [...]