Publicity is a powerful tool. It influences social behaviour, and it affects the ways in which we see the world. Publicity is sexist when it objectivizes women, and perpetuates traditional gender roles, promoting strict beauty stereotypes and putting pressure on women to dress and behave in a specific way. Sexist advertising endorses the idea that women are less than perfect as they are, and that they should strive to comply with what is expected of them.
There have been some advertising campaigns that aim to promote female empowerment. Many businesses have decided to join efforts to shatter gender stereotypes. Although they are still a minority, I commend brands such as Pantene, Dove, Kotex, Nike and Cover Girl, which advocate a message that motivates women and girls to feel good about their bodies and to quit traditional models in order to be themselves.
We are in the midst of profound change for women and girls in society. Old discriminative views on women are being outweighed by respect, freedom, justice, and tolerance. With each passing day, more men and women are aware of the fact that gender shouldn’t dictate who they are, and how they must live.
Businesses and mass media must adapt to this trend and support equality. Women don’t want to be pretty, young females waiting for prince charming to solve their problems. Women are independent, strong, assertive, brave, successful, and above all, free to make their own decisions and lead their lives. It is time to put an end to outdated prejudices that dictate how women should behave.
The advertising industry must react to the requirements of a changing world. It isn’t just about social justice, it’s also better for business. Understanding women as consumers is a competitive advantage. Including a female perspective is crucial for any business that seeks to remain avant-garde and prosperous. Women represent more than 70% of consumer expenditure, and female purchase power is on the rise. As a little more than half of the world’s population, women represent a creative and ground-breaking business potential.
Women hold important roles in community development; nevertheless, they still face exposure to sexist messages which devalue them. Let’s join efforts towards female empowerment. As consumers, we must remain critical towards publicity. As entrepreneurs, we need to adapt to the true needs and desires of women today in order to be competitive. The future is not in the hands of men, nor in the hands of women alone. The future lies in equality and cooperation.
Angélica Fuentes, Founder Equal Invest
Angelica is a well-respected Latin American business woman and philanthropist, who has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of Mexico’s most influential women. Ms.Fuentes was appointed CEO of Grupo Imperial in 1992 and quickly positioned the company as a top player in Northern Mexico’s energy sector. Under her leadership, Grupo Imperial’s annual growth rate increased from 5% in 1992 to 9.5% in 2005.
Prior to joining Grupo Imperial, Ms.Fuentes served as CEO of Grupo Omnilife-Angelissima-Chivas from 2007 to 2015. Under her leadership, the company became one of the top 100 corporations in Mexico. Previously, Ms.Fuentes served as President of the Business Energy Network of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Agreement (APEC) from 2002 to 2004, and as President of the Mexican Natural Gas Association from 1996 to 2000.
Throughout her career, Ms.Fuentes has dedicated significant time and resources to NGOs, international organizations and professional groups that champion women. Her work in this field has been recognized by numerous honors and awards including in 2015, when Ms.Fuentes became the first female CEO to receive the Women’s Empowerment Principles CEO Leadership Award for championing gender equality in the private sector.
Ms.Fuentes established the Angélica Fuentes Foundation in 2014, the philanthropic culmination of her lifelong commitment to improving the lives of women across the globe.