This ad had the best intentions, unfortunately it was way sexist
The road to gender equality is paved with good intentions—and oh so many failed attempts to celebrate the progress we’ve made. In fact, France 3, one of Europe’s largest public broadcasting channels, just learned that the hard way, when in an attempt to celebrate their female workforce, they managed to offend women everywhere.
This week, the network released a short ad featuring a home in distress. Viewers see a kitchen filling with smoke as something burns in the oven, an iron igniting the shirt it’s been left on, a child’s room with toys strewn everywhere, and one very lonely puppy presumably waiting to be taken for a walk. All the while, creepy music plays over the spot.
“Where are all the women?” asks the ad, “They are on France 3.”
It’s true: The majority of presenters at France 3 are women, and even the station’s president, Delphine Ernotte, made history by becoming the first woman to hold that position. But what the ad implies—that a home with a working woman must be falling apart—doesn’t sit well with anyone, including Mme. Eronotte. Accordingly, France 3 has pulled the ad.
In all, congratulations to France 3 on building a workforce of empowered women, but next time, asking those women how they envision themselves may lead to a better, and less sexist way of showing them that you care.