The women status in companies is often at the centre of controversy: gender parity, professional equality or sexual harassment. Women face obstacles that can push them to back away from the entrepreneurial world because of the pressure they undergo.
Gender inequality is often a topical issue. But are you aware that the LGBT community and people whose physical appearance or cultural background is different from ours also suffer of discrimination in the same way? This discrimination can go much further than gender and is often highlighted by stereotypes in advertising.
According to Kristell Rivaille, Google’s Marketing Director, changes must first of all be made internally, within companies, so that diversity becomes a leverage for bringing audiences and advertisements/products together. Inclusion is based on an idea: being able to integrate a large number of heterogeneous profiles into your teams. The integration of these diverse profiles brings an added value through their culture and their traditions that forge a way of thinking and operating that differs from one another. These points of view are essential for a good understanding of society as a whole and for the achievement of common objectives.
Moreover, a good cohesion within these teams is essential and improves performance, brand image, customer satisfaction and commitment significantly. At the same time, the advertising landscape is redefining itself thanks to this mentality change.
Including the responsibility of marketers, Google studies have shown that advertising stereotypes remain: people of dark skin colour are often associated with sports or music, mixed couples,… Or simply, actors of different ethnic backgrounds are feeding to stereotypes. The opposite of the desired effect. The broad media landscape (film, games, brand characters,…) has a significant impact on the construction of personal and social values in everyday life.
This is strongly noticeable at the entrepreneurial level. In January 2020, on average 10% of Belgian companies are headed by a female CEO. This is partly the result of the implementation of the “quota law” obliging companies to have a minimum number of women represented on boards of directors, with the aim of changing and improving the representation of women. Of course, quotas are essential to maintain gender equality. However, the main point of such laws is to allow women to be recognized for their own skills and not to be recognized as a disadvantage because of their reproductive duty. This openness should not be partitioned by restrictive laws but should come from pro-active action from entrepreneurs.
At blue2purple, we work in an environment full of diversity where stereotypes and preconceived ideas have no place. We have almost a 50/50 parity between men (16) and women (15) across all our offices (Madagascar and Belgium). At the decision-making level, in Belgium, 5 out of 8 women (equivalent to 62.5%) are in managerial positions. And in Madagascar, 3 out of 5 (60%) are as well.
Moreover, for more than 10 years now, blue2purple has been led by women.
Filled with very distinct cultural roots and founders of international relations, our culture is built on mutual respect. By taking a step back from the situations that arise as well as the confusions that can sometimes emerge (during the creation of a process for example), the ability to adapt to others and their traditions gives us an ability to find innovative solutions. Anti-conformism is a richness that we cultivate.
“Inclusion does not stop at the recognition of differences“, companies are enriched by diversity and build a strong and shared corporate culture. Listening, taking others into account, giving all the opportunities for your employees to feel good and have every chance to develop like others are the levers of a rich corporate culture and a sign of a competitive advantage on the market because of its close relationship with society.
If you are interested in this subject and want to know more about it, we have collected several sources for you: