The fish in the water
Both newspaper articles suggest that there are women entrepreneurs or executives (including those in advertising agencies) that with sheer will, effort and sacrifice can reach the top. They only have to work hard and overcome difficulties. As simple as that.
There is a smack of "positive thinking" — everything is possible if you set your goal on it. They thus ignore the following facts:
- For equal jobs, women earn 25% less than men,
- or the existence of the "sticky floor" that keeps them mostly in lower positions,
- or "the glass ceiling" that deprives them of a fair chance to reach the highest positions.
It is the culture of the fish in the water. The fish considers it natural that life takes place in the water. It does not question it. But it doesn’t cross its mind that there can be another kind of life out of the water. So it seems logical that its life should develop in the watery medium.
Something similar happens to women. They think that within the macho world in which their lives take place they must work hard to excel. And that if they are very good this will have a positive result.
It doesn’t even cross their mind that another life is possible. That the macho world is not the only one. That there is an alternative to the macho culture they face — inclusion of cultural gender differences. In short, they lack the gender perspective.
Here is the main error. To think that the natural thing is the corporate or business world as we know it, and that another world is not possible. But yes, it is possible.
First you need to be aware of that possibility. And for this you need to be informed and you need to study. You need to know that there are at least two major gender identities (although we already know that there are many more). Once you see those big two identities, you need to recognize that each one has a different view of the world. That there is one, which has prevailed to the present day, which is the male look of the world. And that view has done everything possible, throughout the history of humanity, to ignore the other view in order to downplay and discriminate it, suggesting that there is only one hierarchy: the masculine first, and on another lower level, the feminine.
But today we know that this is not so. We know that there is another view of the world — different, but with the same value as the male — and this is the female view. A look that has different motivations, values and behavior with respect to the male view. In short, that looks at the world from another perspective: the female view.
If we don’t accept that there are two possible views of the world, everything will remain the same, both in the corporate world as well as in marketing and advertising.
In the corporate world, because boards of directors will continue to be male, as well as the top jobs, the organization culture and the worldview of the companies. If we do not begin to consider that another corporate world is possible nothing will change. We men are very comfortable in our position of dominance and we won’t hand over or share power easily. It is vital to educate organizations in gender cultural differences. This means accepting the possibility of female leaders, changing the culture of the organization, including salary equity between women and men and equal career opportunities within the organization. To achieve all this, what is most critical is to change the culture of the organizations, since, as all cultural changes, this is slow, and there is also a great resistance to change.
The same happens regarding marketing. If organizations have to change inwardly, they also have to do so outwardly, regarding female consumers. They must first recognize that the world has changed, that women have changed: they study more than men, more women graduate from college than men, and women want to have a life outside their home and share their life at home with their partners. This means moving away from the stereotypes of women as housewives and mothers, dedicated to home chores and caring for their children. It also means recognizing that women today have a great purchasing power that they apply to buying goods and services that 60 years ago was the privilege of men. Today women buy, often by themselves, apartments, cars, financial services, insurance, etc. Not to mention the cases in which they are in charge of purchases within an organization. In that case they are major buyers of innumerable goods and services. In a nutshell, since women have changed, marketing should change and stop functioning with the guidelines of 50 years ago.
Finally, let’s consider the world of advertising. Today there may be some women in the top positions in advertising and many areas of agencies. This is good, but it is no reason to boast. Because here also the fish in the water theory is naturalized. There are practically no women occupying the top decision level in creativity in agencies. The creative departments are in the hands of men who apply their male logic to the imaginary world of advertising. And in the creative departments there is a prevalence of men — 8 men for every 2 women — because women must either adapt to the male creative world or leave. So a world of at least 40/50 years ago gets reproduced. As a consequence, in their ads they never show a woman at the steering wheel and a man in the passenger seat. Much less a man looking after the home with the woman providing the main support. Or a man cleaning something. Neither do we see single women buying an apartment. No, the imaginary world of advertising is full of stereotypes and gender biases. This is because 21st century women aren’t identified or recognized. They continue to be invisibilized. They are only seen from the male perspective.
In conclusion, we need to learn about them. There is something we don’t know, that the world needs to be seen with two different looks, female and male — different, but equally valuable. That both looks have a different way of seeing the world, and that each has its own motivations, values and behaviors.
In summary, there is another world beyond the water.
A Gender Perspective to Reach Purchase Deciders
CLARIN CREATIVITY AWARDS
WHAT DOES COMMUNICATION LOSE FROM THE LACK OF FEMALE CGD’S
A Gender Perspective to Reach Purchase Deciders
Even though 80% of purchases are still decided by women, practically all advertising is made by men. Advisable?
EXCLUSIVE FOR CLARIN
“Advertising is a private men’s club,” fires Alberto Pierpaoli, CEO of The Gender Group and creator of Made in Femenino (Made in Female). “And this comes from someone who has been 40 years in agencies,” he continues. “After having spent the last ten years soaking in the gender perspective, I am a sort of convert,” adds the author of Mal-tratadas por el marketing (Mis-treated by Marketing), the first book in Latin America to deal with this matter.
Among his sources, there is the follow up of the 3% Conference, a North American itinerant conference that endeavors to support female creative leadership in advertisements. “They saw that only 3% of the creative general directors of agencies were women, precisely in the country that raises the banner of diversity so much,” says Pierpaoli. “And after holding conferences throughout the United States they managed to have 15% of the awards in the Cannes Festival given for ideas generated by female creative general directors.”
But why have the creative departments coalesced into the format of “men’s clubs”? “If we analyze a standard agency, we find both men and women working in all areas,” says Pierpaoli. “That is until we get to the creative department, which is in reality separated from the rest of the agency—more secret, more exclusive, and more pride-giving.”
If you want to cry…
In relation to what is so masculine happening inside there, the local CGD’s (and men) give two major answers. On the one hand, they talk about football and sex in crude terms. And on the other hand, when the time of brainstorming comes, the ideas thrown on the table are discarded without holding back expletives for proponents.
What they do find difficult to say, so it seems, is that they dread that, when working with women, they will cry if an idea is rejected, or they will be shocked if they hear a crude remark. And so, when it comes to engaging a “modern” female consumer, who in addition to being a housewife and a mother has a job, they have to make an effort that borders guesswork to imagine on what terms to reach her. They end up addressing a “masculinized” woman. Or, sometimes, they don’t see that their message needs to be women inclusive too.
All (men and women)
Cars are a good category to illustrate both points. In the United States, car sales are spread out evenly between men and women, even slightly higher for the latter, says Pierpaoli. And in Argentina, he says, 30% of the ABC1 car segment is bought by women for themselves. However, the category is still considered as only male, so the advertising messages talk about “power, acceleration, and a whole lot of technicalities that stem from a vision of the car as an extension of masculinity,” says the expert. “If a woman appears in a car advert, it is as a supplementary object,” he adds.
But the approach of a woman to a car is different. First, she wants it to be mechanically reliable—she doesn’t want to be left stranded in the middle of a highway. And second, for her the car is an object of personal enjoyment, and if she’s a mother, for family use. So she looks to see if the cabin is comfortable, in its inner capacity.
At the same time, there is a great “fear of change, that men would take it badly if the brand is presented in such a way that they understand it is being ‘feminized,’” says Pierpaoli. “So they continue to appeal to male motivations—status, prestige, authority. Instead, women have a cultural makeup whereby they look for consensus and empathy; they are more altruistic. For this reason, it is necessary to introduce the gender perspective in the era of diversity,” he concludes.
WINDS OF CHANGE
Don’t complain if you don’t complain
Categories seen as clearly “female,” i.e. those related with home care, continue to incur in stereotypes in line with Mad Men times. “It is advertising that functions based on a very high repetition rate,” explains Pierpaoli.
This is another part of the problem—at the end of the day, it works. Products are sold and companies send their invoices. “It enters your head by the force of money, not by its originality. But in the brands they think, ‘Why should we change, if we always did things this way and we are doing good, and a failure can cost a position?’”
He himself answers, “Because the world is changing.” We are living in times of cultural diversity and in these times women are part of this, with their own motivations, values and purchasing conducts.”
And he provides an example: in the United States Harley-Davidson has already sold 100,000 motorbikes to women. The brand saw a niche of girls who would like to drive motorbikes but were afraid of not being able to manage a Harley, and they developed a marketing program whereby they organize “Tupper meetings,” garage parties in which habitual users show potential users the capabilities of each model.
There is still another part of the problem—women “don’t complain” about the way they are mistreated by marketing, says Pierpaoli. He must be the only man that criticizes them for not complaining enough.
Claudia, the compulsive spender that earned Banco Galicia and Mercado McCann a Silver Award in Integral Campaigns. She saves because she buys using Quiero! Points.
Marketing To Women New York
THE WORLD’S PREMIER GLOBAL SUMMIT ON MARKETING TO WOMEN
#M2W - 25% Early Bird Savings
(USE CODE GG25)M2W® the World’s Premier Global Summit on Marketing to Women applies a 25% discount to those attendants from Latin America to assist to the M2W®Conference in New York City on May 2 & 3 2015. M2W®, held for 12 years in the United States, helps you build business with the economic clout of today’s always evolving female consumers. Women are responsible for over 85% of purchases from their homes. M2W® gives you … the hottest trends … the best practices … the breakthrough ideas … the multi-platform know-how … and critical insights to power your brand with the power of women. "Participation helps you build better businesses , namely the latest trends and understand the evolution of today's consumers ," notes Alberto Pierpaoli , CEO of The Gender Group and creator of Made in Femenino. Pierpaoli published the ebook Mis-treated by the Marketing and now was selected member of the First Global Steering Committee for the Summit , which will be performed for first time in New York City. Lead by a multi-national Global Steering Committee, M2W®’s early highlights already include: Be the Brand Millennial Women Want – M2W® favorite speaker Jenny Darroch, Ph.D., author of Why Marketing to Women Doesn’t Work http://www.jennydarroch.com/ leads an elite brand panel to show you how to reach today’s most valuable consumers … millennial women.
- Meet The HENRYs – Pam Danzinger, Pres. Unity Marketing and internationally acclaimed affluent marketing expert, presents marketing to women who are High Earners Not Rich Yet.
- Secret Language – Luncheon keynote Maya Rodale, author of Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels shares the surprising market power of romance readers and what it means to brand messaging.
- Content That Works - A signature M2W® panel from brands who have created results-driven content campaigns
- Rise & Shine With M2W® 101 – A quick and lively review of the basics of marketing to women from the razor sharp, always entertaining Marti Barletta whose seminal book Marketing to Women has been translated in 26 languages http://www.martibarletta.com/
- It’s A Small World - The M2W® Global Steering Committee gives you the grass roots reality of marketing to women around the world you won’t get anywhere else!
- Check out the full early schedule here. http://m2w.biz/schedule/
Credit cards and women
Days ago, a colleague and friend carried out a presentation on marketing and advertising to women for an organization that promotes the empowerment of women.
It struck me that among the executives present there was a very large delegation of women belonging to a very important international credit card.
This led me to make some reflections on credit cards and women.
In general, women complain that marketing and advertising do not understand them as women. Because they constrain them to very traditional roles or they talk to them as they talk to men, without taking into account that they are women, and as such, different.
Talking about credit cards, both the cards and the banks that market them, and in a greater proportion the latter, see the credit card as a vehicle for the compulsive consumption of women, particularly in products and/or services highly related to their femininity —cosmetics, clothing, hair salons, etc.
Cards have not yet considered that women today can be businesswomen, entrepreneurs, professionals, executives. In short, that women work alongside men and have consumptions that go beyond their status as women and mothers and shopping for the family.
This doesn’t mean that what the banks are doing is wrong, but to restrict women to their appearance and/or, as heads of a household, to buying products and services for their families, is to reduce them to women of the past century.
Women today have multidimensional roles, apart from working, being wives, housewives and heads of households. Some are sportswomen, college students, gardeners, drivers, community and social activists... etc. All women (and men) play a dozen or more roles. People choose products and services according to the roles they play. Different roles mean different needs and different marketing angles.
Credit cards can and should take into account this multidimensionality of women and not restrict them to their traditional roles. This is part of comprehending and understanding women.
Another thing to keep in mind is that women have values, purchase motivations and ways that are completely different to those of the men. To mention some differences, women are altruistic, want to improve the world, try to empathize with others and always think beyond themselves, in their family, their children. It is necessary to consider these cultural differences of gender applied to consumption at all our points of contact with women. This is also part of comprehending and understanding women.
A campaign that connected emotionally with women was MasterCard’s "Priceless," with very well told stories about all the things in life that money can't buy. What we need to highlight is precisely this emotional bond with women, given that this is very important for them, and not so much for men.
And if we talk about advertising, there are forms of communication that are very different from those of men. For example, the language of women is totally different to that of men. Women are interested in the smallest details and stories, while men are only interested in the "titles" of things and not going into details, that bores them. That’s the reason we can use longer texts with women and tell stories.
Credit cards also have historical information on their clients and can carry out targeted ads "one-to-one" or through their monthly connection with them. The opportunities opening up here are endless.
So far we have spoken of "off line" advertising. When we go to "on line," it is important the use that can be made of today's social networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.) considering that women are mostly attracted to them. And to this we must add the apparition of the smartphone that has revolutionized the possibilities of the cell phone. The opportunities that arise from combining mobility with social networks are immense. The use of these new techniques and opportunities is also to comprehend and understand women.
In short, there is the possibility of combining new and old media with a new way of approaching women and to make them feel comprehended and understood by credit cards.
And if we can make them feel satisfied with how our card treats them, we'll be sure to be on the right track, which will result in the success and growth of our business.
Ondamujer interviewed Alberto Pierpaoli
Inspiring Change. For the recognition of equality for women consumption.
UN developed seven areas around it and this article proposes an eighth: the recognition of equality for women consumption.
Even though women are responsible for 80/85 % of consumption, business companies treat them using an androcentric perspective: they look at reality with masculine lenses.
The gender perspective is an instrument to look at reality from a different way. This perspective questions the unequal power relations posed by men. And most executives are men: they rule and govern the world and do not know the gender perspective.
We need to introduce the concept of gender in advertising and marketing, because women say that marketing and advertising do not understand them.
Reaching Gender Balance, a Twenty-First Century Goal
Several works of the 20-first, consulting firm are analyzed, related to the Global Gender Balance Scorecard of 100 leading firms of each of three regions: United States, Europe, and Asia, according to their development of gender balance.
In addition complementary studies focused on five specific industries are considered: consumer goods, insurance, financial services, retail stores, and telecommunications. And in every industry the results of the first 10 businesses of the world are considered.
In all cases it has been proven that there is a lot to do still to reach gender balance, and the situation is worse in Latin America, considered by another study but carried out by the McKinsey consulting firm.
Big Brother shows who we are – we're incredibly sexists!
UN Women published a series of ads based on Google searches in English to show the prevalence of sexism and discrimination with women. The newspaper El País of Madrid made similar searches in Spanish and the author did them in Italian, French and Portuguese. In all cases he noticed the same sexism.
This is a proof of the difficulty of advancing toward a more equitable global society in gender and more egalitarian between women and men. The same accounts for Twitter.
This happens before our eyes as something we don't register, while the world continues to be sexist. However, we shouldn't stop until we reach a 50/50 gender balance.
If women come together, it will be impossible to continue ignoring their voices
The Best Buy case is mentioned, a consumer electronic store chain, who asked its female consumers and employees what they wanted from Best Buy as women. This is an industry where 57% of consumption is made by women.
Best Buy improved its relationship with their female consumers and employees between 2003 and 2008. It did this through a series of measures that went from redesigning the stores, the way they presented their products, correcting the way they addressed women and training their salespeople. It did all this because it discovered that the ways of improving the experiences of the female customers impacted the final result of the company.
Redefinir la masculinidad
Entre el 14 y 16 de mayo pasado, el periódico inglés The Guardian, publicó tres notas diciendo que se debía volver a hablar de la masculinidad, debido al machismo creciente y la crisis de la masculinidad consecuente. Esta crisis se relacionaba, entre otras cosas, con la recesión, las luchas por los cambios sociales y el desempleo, que ya alcanzaba valores superiores al 20%.
El tema preocupó a los ingleses a nivel parlamentario, puesto que, por todas esas razones, los hombres se sienten inseguros y perdidos respecto a su papel actual y futuro. No saben lo que significa ser hombre hoy ni en el futuro próximo, con la consecuencia del incremento de la violencia masculina en general y de la violencia de género, en particular.
Hoy debemos redefinir el papel de hombres y mujeres tanto en lo privado como en lo publico y los hombres debemos aceptar nuestra participación mayor, en lo privado, hasta alcanzar una paridad del 50/50.
En Inglaterra piensan que los hombres han perdido el rumbo, a partir de que antes se los tomaba por quienes debían ser los proveedores del pan para el hogar y que ahora, con los cambios de las mujeres, el feminismo y las madres solteras, no saben que hacer. Los hombres acusan al feminismo y a las madres solteras de sus problemas, pues se han quedado anclados en un modelo anterior de hombre, padre proveedor.
Esta situación promueve el machismo, la homofobia y la misoginia y se llega a plantear el papel negativo de la pornografía, que daña a los hombres.
Ante este panorama, los políticos ingleses buscan crear políticas públicas que contrarresten esta situación.
La importancia del género para redefinir a la masculinidad
Uno de los articulistas expresa que se debe cambiar la óptica. No se trata de echarse culpas entre uno y otro sexo por lo que sucede. Es que, a partir de los cambios sociales, políticos, económicos, educativos, entre otros, se han modificado las relaciones entre los géneros.
En los últimos sesenta años las mujeres han avanzado a todo nivel, lo que se ha vivido, muchas veces, como un avance en detrimento de los hombres. Y esto no es así.
Si las mujeres avanzaron es porque entendieron que a partir de la educación podían cambiar su situación en el mundo y lograr objetivos que antes les estaban cerrados y las reducía a aceptar sólo una existencia en la vida privada de los hogares.
Pero esto está en discusión. Y lo mismo debe necesariamente pasar con la masculinidad. El papel de las mujeres y de los hombres en la actualidad, debe ser redefinido desde lo cultural, es decir, desde la perspectiva de género.
Los hombres sentimos como que nos hemos quedado atrás, y lo primero que se nos ocurre es querer volver a un estadio que suponemos (para nosotros) idílico. Pero esta forma de pensar es irreal.
El mundo ha cambiado. Debe redefinirse culturalmente el papel de los hombres en una sociedad, donde las mujeres, vienen avanzando, entrando al mundo de lo público y cuestionando que el mundo privado quede todavía mayoritariamente bajo la responsabilidad de los hombres.
Hoy debemos redefinir el papel de hombres y mujeres tanto en lo privado como en lo publico y los hombres debemos aceptar nuestra participación mayor, en lo privado, hasta alcanzar una paridad del 50/50.
Pero ese camino no es fácil. Requiere de políticas de gobierno que ayuden a aceptar este cambio cultural y de que se tomen estos temas de machismo, violencia, etc. como cuestiones a resolver desde el género. La educación cumple un papel fundamental y de eso también se tienen que ocupar los gobiernos, además de las modificaciones que sea necesario hacer en lo legislativo para que pueda irse hacia la equidad de género. Leyes sobre licencias por paternidad, asistencia parental prenatal, en fin; una mayor presencia de los padres varones en lo privado, y que no se viva como un retroceso. Todo lo contrario, ahora somos dos géneros en busca de nuestra igualdad y con equidad.
Link a la nota en Mujeres y Cia