Every now and then, a study comes out that shows how underrepresented women are. In film, in careers, in how we’re paid. The list goes on and on. So get ready, because another infuriating study is here. And this one is on gender roles in advertising.
This new study shows just how marginalized women are in advertising.
The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and the marketing firm J. Walter Thompson partnered for this project. Researchers analyzed over 2,000 ads from a 10-year period. They presented their findings at the Cannes Lions International Festival.
They found that ads featured twice as many male characters.
Furthermore, male characters were shown from their 20s to 40s. However, female characters were mostly in their 20s. And that’s not all. Men were seven times more likely to have speaking roles!
Additionally, women were often dressed in “sexually revealing” clothing. On the other hand, men were 62 percent more likely to be portrayed as intellectuals. Consequently, men were likely to be shown as scientists or doctors.
So, where exactly are these women hanging out most of the time?
In the kitchen. That’s right.
Women were 48 percent more likely to appear in the kitchen, whereas men were 50 percent more likely to appear cheering on a sports team.
Our thoughts exactly…
So women are massively underrepresented in ads. But that’s not all. We appear in the most sexist ways possible.
The silver lining is what happened later at the Cannes conference. Several major corporations pledged to revamp their advertising tactics.
“By changing the narrative, the images we use, the stories we tell about women, we can dramatically change the way the world values women and how women and girls see themselves,” said Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute. “It’s not enough to portray more women. We need a more progressive and inclusive representation of women.”
Plus, there’s a constant flurry of female-focused (and female-positive) ads in every area from beauty to sports. So we’re on our way to fighting back, big time.