This year at Crystal Apple Festival of Creativity, environment has been put forward once again by VW through its category award Environment and Sustainability and its great exhibition area, Think Blue aiming to raise people’s awareness on sustainability. Awareness, that still needs to be raised unfortunately. During my seminar at Future Camp, I asked the audience if someone could define sustainability. No one answered. Timidity or lack of knowledge? I opt and hope it was timidity. However, among the 3 main pillars of sustainability the one I will remember from 2014 Crystal Apple is the Social one; the one related to gender (in)equality.
This year, although only 22% of the speakers at Crystal Apple were women, women were put forward by key speakers. Why such a small number? Simply because there is a lack of women in high positions in Advertising industry. Unfortunately, this is not the only industry and sector; such case is encountered everywhere all around the world. However, Crystal Apple has highlighted this issue by setting up “Women Power in Creative Industries” panel, gathering key powerful Turkish women and put in Future Camp, a session dedicated to #LikeAGirl Campaign presented by Oya Canbaş, Brand Director of P&G Turkey. Keynote speakers like David Shing, Digital Prophet of AOL, or Jacques Séguéla, VP of Havas Worldwide, emphasized the power of women in decision making and in changing the world.
Feminism you think?
Feminism. This word has become a big word, associated with negative ideas. Why negative? Maybe because promotion or actions towards more gender equality were represented and described by the media or our entourage as negatively rebel or even violent.
Or simply a(nother) wake-up call for Men <> Women?
At last year festival, Mercedes Erra, the President Executive of Havas worldwide and BETC founder, pointed out that balance between men and women help organizations to progress. To change the inequality between men and women, people should go beyond the stereotypes; stereotypes that unfortunately everyone’s has. Something also encouraged by the actress Emma Watson in her recent speech at the United Nations for HeForShe campaign launch.
Changing things that are so deeply anchored in the society is the biggest challenge. Actors for such change are everywhere: from your neighbor to leading brands, media or TV series, through celebrities and yourself. Here are some inspiring examples:
- Hustle by TV series.
Rare are the TV series putting forward successful professional women, rather than successful mothers. In the 80s the TV series Who’s the boss? was one of them. Angela Bower, a successful Advertising executive, hires an Italian-live-in housekeeper. All the clichés are hustled: a woman is working at a C-level, while her Italian (not really macho) housekeeper is cooking and cleaning the house. In another category, Lynette Scavo’s character from Desperate Housewives shows that a woman with children can conciliate a successful career in Marketing, provided that roles are properly shared with her househusband!
- Hustle by people.
Bunker Roy has totally hustled the known and common rules by founding in 1972 the Barefoot College; a College made for poor people. Within this College, illiterate women including grandmothers are trained to become solar engineers. Why women? Bunker Roy explained himself that men are untrainable, and most of them leave the villages to go to cities for what they think is a better life. Thus, people taking care of the villages are actually women and often grandmothers.
In the celebrities’ side, I name Christina Hendricks. Her role in Modern Office for Funny or Die, the Mad Men actress points out that, although offices are more modern, things have not changed between today and the 60s regarding women position in professional life. So why would she change her 60s habits?
Another hustler: Charlotte Benjamin, a 7-year-old girl. Last January, the little girl wrote quite of a letter to the Lego Company pointing out the gender inequality among the Lego products made for boys and the other ones for girls: “All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks.” Her wish became true when last August, the set “Research Institute” with women scientists was released.
|“Dear Lego Company:My name is Charlotte I am 7 years old and I love legos but I don’t like that there are more Lego boy people and barely any lego girls. Today I went to a store and saw legos in two sections the girls pink and the boys blue. All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks. I want you to make more lego girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun ok!?! Thank you. From Charlotte.”|
These hustlers are change makers. As Emma Watson said: “if not me, who? If not now, when?” So ready to and for the change?