New research from ShEqual, an initiative led by Women’s Health Victoria, has found that the Australian advertising industry is silencing almost a third (30%) of people concerned by “potentially sexist content, such as dangerous female stereotypes”.
Speaking at a panel event in Melbourne last night hosted by comedian and TV personality Alex Lee, industry figures including UM Australia CEO, Anathea Ruys, Medibank senior executive, brand, marketing & CX, Fiona Le Brocq, head of creative, insights at Kantar Asia, and Australia, Irene Joshy, associate creative director at M&C Saatchi, Sarah Vincenzini, senior strategist at TBWA, Dhivia Pilai, and group account director at Icon Agency, Niall Hughes discussed the many stereotypes women continue to face in advertising representation.
For the research, ShEqual surveyed 598 advertising professionals, finding that 30% of industry staffers hesitated to call out sexist or stereotypical content or portrayals in advertising content “due to fears of negative consequences”, with other key reasons being cited as “not feeling it was their place”, they “weren’t senior enough”, or they had a “lack of experience”.
shEqual is the first coordinated effort in Australia to promote gender equality and address the drivers of violence against women in the advertising setting. Download the guide to identifying and challenging female stereotypes in ads.