#HereToBeHeard aiming to advance gender equity
Experts from Saïd Business School analysed data from over 10,000 women in 88 different countries to identify the main areas of intervention.
On 27 October 2021 Mars, Incorporated released the #HereToBeHeard report, a global listening study created to amplify the voices of women across all intersections – including race, age, sexuality, religion, disability and more – in a meaningful dialogue on how to shape a more inclusive world.
Announced in January 2021, at a time when the crushing and disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on women has set the march to equality back by 136 years, according to the World Economic Forum, the new report, which is part of the Mars Full Potential platform, aims to advance action on gender equity.
Experts from the School’s Oxford Future of Marketing Initiative (FOMI) - Associate Professor of Marketing Felipe Thomaz and Research Fellow in Marketing and Reputation Dr Natalia Efremova - analysed responses from 10,319 women across 88 countries who took part in the #HearToBeHeard listening study. Participants were inspired to answer one question: What needs to change so more women can reach their full potential?
From soundbites to deeply personal perspectives, women called for systemic change they want to see from their employers, governments, communities and men to break down the barriers they face.
Through a combination of AI natural language processing and network analysis, FOMI’s researchers identified 28 topics, which were qualitatively grouped into eight themes most frequently mentioned by women:
- An End to Systemic Discrimination and Harmful Gender Stereotypes (80%)
- Equal Career Opportunities (79%)
- More Decision-Making Power (65%)
- Support as Parents (30%)
- Greater Work/Life Balance (26%)
- Gender Equal Learning (24%)
- Mental and Physical Wellbeing (19%)
- An End to Gender Based Harassment and Violence (15%)
Based on the above findings, consultancy Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), author of the #HereToBeHeard report – in consultation with gender experts from The Unstereotype Alliance, CARE, and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media – have provided eight practical recommendations to help break down barriers women face to achieving their full potential.
- Acting against discrimination and harmful gender stereotyping.
- Removing gender bias and discrimination in recruitment, performance review, and promotion processes.
- Including more women in senior leadership roles.
- Providing more support for parents such as affordable childcare and parental leave.
- Promoting greater work/life balance, offering flexible working options
- Supporting gender-equal learning
- Providing better access to healthcare services for both mental and physical wellbeing
- Adopting higher standards of prevention, protection, and redress to tackle gender-based violence and harassment.
Professor Andrew Stephen, Associate Dean of Research, L'Oréal Professor of Marketing and Director of FOMI at Oxford Saïd: 'The #HereToBeHeard research provides a number of very powerful findings. This should serve as yet another significant call to action for all of us to look at specific things that we can do in our organisations, institutions, and societies to address gender disparities so that we can break down the barriers that prevent women from reaching their full potential. The recommendations coming out of this research are practical, actionable steps that organisations can take. I'm proud that Saïd Business School was able to contribute to this project.'
Victoria Mars, family member and ambassador of the Mars Full Potential program: 'We heard from women around the world who shared their stories, their ideas, their ambitions, and their frustrations. It's a simple question but the depth and breadth of the answers have been insightful, challenging and moving. Businesses must do their bit to make a difference. Mars remains deeply committed to this work and we encourage businesses, governments and more civil society partners to step up action and invest where it matters most. May their 10,000 voices be a powerful instrument for change.'