March is my favorite month of the year; flowers are in bloom (in most cases), it’s my birthday month and of course, it’s National Women’s History Month. This means that women get a special spotlight in March and everyone has to be very nice to us. Some brands struggle with gender inclusivity, but in the last year the following brands did a great job of challenging gender stereotypes through advertising.
With more and more focus on increasing the number of females in STEM, Microsoft’s 2016 ad for International Women’s Day asks young girls a hard hitting question: Can you name any female inventors? They can’t, but women inventors are definitely out there. This ad encourages girls to make “#makewhatsnext.”
This ad series took advantage of International Women’s Day (March 8) by featuring strong women defying gender stereotypes through their work. We don’t usually see women in physically demanding jobs such as firefighters, but Brawny is working to change that.
Always’s #LikeAGirl campaign finds real life experiences from girls and women. In this ad, they tell us how society has made them feel limited. “It’s always the boys who rescue the girls in the stories,” but despite these limitations, Always is encouraging females to break through expectations and stereotypes and to feel unstoppable.
4. Under Armour
This Under Armour ad follows Olympic Sprinter Natasha Hastings as she tells us what drives her to get out of bed every morning. The most radical part of this campaign: it doesn’t even mention her gender. There’s no question she is a strong and motivated athlete.
When I was a kid, all of the Barbies looked very similar and none of them looked like me or any of my friends. They were exclusively interested in fashion and shopping, failing to encourage girls to imagine other possibilities for women. This ad changed it all for the brand. Not only will Barbie have more diverse careers, but she now comes in various shapes, color and sizes as well. It’s incredible to see Barbie evolve to represent more of the populations that interact with the doll.