In a world where equality reigns supreme, advertising agency CPB London took a bold step to address deeply entrenched gender stereotypes with their groundbreaking poster campaign, “Imagine.” Inspired by a nationwide study revealing concerning perceptions among primary school children, CPB’s campaign urges us to rethink traditional roles on International Women’s Day, echoing the theme of ‘Break The Bias’ for 2022’s event.
According to the study, a staggering 39% of primary school children still adhere to outdated views, believing that mothers should handle childcare and housework, while fathers are expected to go to work. This revelation serves as a wake-up call, highlighting the persistence of gender-based stereotypes that even the youngest generation has internalized.
Helen James, managing director at CPB London, expressed her shock at the findings, stating, “For all the progress made, it’s shocking to see how deeply entrenched views can still be about women and men’s roles.” She emphasizes the urgent need to dismantle these stereotypes, especially when they are ingrained in the minds of our future generation.
The heart of the “Imagine” campaign lies in prompting individuals to envision various professions, such as a CEO, nurse, or makeup artist, and then challenge preconceived notions by asking whether the imagined person is a man or a woman. This thought-provoking approach aims to foster dialogue and reflection on gender biases that persist in society.
CPB’s creative campaign will reach audiences across the UK through donated media on social platforms, display ads, out-of-home placements, and cinema promotions. The campaign has garnered support from notable organizations, including Creative Equals, Goodstuff, Assembly, and Open Media, fostering a collaborative effort to spark meaningful conversations during International Women’s Week and beyond.
To further extend the conversation, CPB London has introduced a children’s coloring book, aligning with the “Imagine” theme. Youngsters are encouraged to illustrate their interpretations of the headlines, aiming to prompt conversations at home about gender roles. Helen James explains, “There are no right or wrong drawings – just insight into our assumptions about gender roles. We all have unconscious bias, and the only way to change that is to question and get people talking.”
The coloring book is available for purchase on cpblondon.com, with all proceeds contributing to building a more diverse future through Beyond Equality and Young Women’s Trust. This innovative approach not only challenges stereotypes but also channels the funds raised toward initiatives that actively support gender equality.
CPB’s study also uncovered additional disconcerting insights, revealing that 45% of 5 to 11-year-olds believe nurses are always women, while 22% think a doctor is more likely to be a man. Furthermore, two-thirds of children perceive jobs like plumbing or electrical work as exclusively male domains. Strikingly, nearly half of the surveyed boys and girls expressed the belief that men make better engineers.
Yet, amid these troubling findings, there is a glimmer of hope. The study affirms that the overwhelming majority of children today – 94% – believe they should grow up to be whatever they want, breaking free from traditional constraints. Additionally, 82% of children are confident that boys and girls can excel equally in the same endeavors if they put in the effort.
In parallel, the study involved polling parents of primary school kids, revealing that 29% had to explain to their children that men and women can perform the same jobs. Shockingly, almost a third of parents admitted to instances where their children expressed beliefs reinforcing harmful stereotypes surrounding gender roles.
In conclusion, CPB London’s “Imagine” campaign is not just an advertising initiative; it’s a call to action to reshape societal perceptions and challenge ingrained biases from an early age. By encouraging conversations and fostering creativity among children, CPB seeks to pave the way for a future where gender is no barrier to individual achievement. The campaign’s resonance extends beyond International Women’s Week, aiming to leave a lasting impact on the collective mindset and create a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable society for generations to come.