The world’s biggest advertiser is pledging to establish more gender equality behind the scenes.
Procter & Gamble (PG), which owns everything from Tide to Pampers, announced Monday that it is working toward a 2023 goal of women directing at least half of its product commercials. Only about 10% of its commercials are currently directed by women.
While P&G does not create its own commercials, it spends nearly $7 billion a year advertising its products. With just 30% of top marketing and creative roles in advertising agencies filled by women today, P&G’s pledge will likely force a shift in the industry.
P&G will also sign the “Free the Bid” pledge, which requires that at least one female director be included in any group of final candidates to produce a commercial. To encourage this change, P&G announced two new partnerships: one with Queen Latifah’s Queen Collective to create two 12-minute films produced by women, and another with Katie Couric, to support her new media company’s short-form online video series.
The consumer goods corporation will also work toward closing its own gender gap at the creative director level. Just 41% of these roles are currently filled by women. It hopes to reach an equal split within five years as well.
While P&G hopes to inspire other companies to work toward achieving parity as well, the company also acknowledged that gender equality is also good for business. According to a study by the #SeeHer initiative, gender equal programming spurs a 10% increase in brand trust and a more than 20% increase in sales.
Marc Pritchard, P&G’s chief brand officer, pointed out this effect, noting that “Some of P&G’s best performing brands have the most gender-equal campaigns. It’s clear that promoting gender equality is not only a force for good, it’s a force for growth.”
He explained to Bloomberg that “equality drives growth. If we just achieve equality in economic empowerment between women and men, it could add $28 trillion to the world economy.”
“That’s a lot of purchasing power,” he added.