In June 2014, women’s sanitary pad maker Always released a campaign to redefine what it means to be a girl. According to Always, girls’ confidence levels drop once they’ve reached puberty and the campaign perfectly illustrates how the common refrain to do things “like a girl” can be seen as an insult, and how important it is for this perception to change.
Watch the video here:
According to American sociologist, James M. Henslin, the way we see ourselves and our gender is massively dependent on the social influences we had growing up. In an article on socialisation and gender roles, Henslin notes that the family dynamic is certainly important in reinforcing genders roles in countless subtle and not so subtle ways, but that friends, school, work and the mass media are also huge social influences.
Online media has become a major indicator of society’s shifting norms. In South Africa, people spend an average of eight hours consuming online media via a PC or tablet. How much the content of online media (in our gender-developing society) actually promotes gender equality, is unclear. As the media reports the status quo and digital advertisers relay offline realities, it’s up to industry decision-makers to ensure that the role of men and women in society is projected in the right way.
While more women are playing lead roles in films and being projected as bosses and heroines, an American study reveals that only 35% of women are screenwriters; 25% are film executives and only 10% of film directors are women.
Leading ladies in digital marketing like Sheharazaad Allie, Director of Operations at Honeykome, work tirelessly to embody a positive example to women and girls and drive gender equality from conceptual to creative and production phases of digital marketing campaigns.
“In an industry where ideas are our currency, nurturing talent is of as much importance as the organisation’s bottom line. Our role as women in leadership is to allow others to view their ambitions as a possibility based on performance, not gender,” says Allie.