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P&G wants to see equal representation of women and men across its creative supply chain

P&G partners with Queen Latifah and Katie Couric in gender equality drive

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has forged a number of new partnerships with organisations including The Queen Collective, Katie Couric Media and Free the Bird as it looks to drive equal representation of women across the creative supply chain.

Announcing the partnerships at the Cannes Lions Festival, the FMCG company’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard said: “As the world’s greatest creative minds gather to celebrate creativity, we are committed to do our part with meaningful actions to advance gender equality in advertising, media and the creative pipeline in the next five years.

"We also know no company can do it alone, so we hope to inspire others to be agents of change to accelerate momentum.”

It comes after P&G found that women and girls are inaccurately or negatively portrayed in 29 percent of ads and media programs. It said the problem is fuelled by the fact that only 32% of CMOs, 33% of chief creative officers and 10% of commercial directors are women.

To achieve equal representation of women and men in the creative supply chain, P&G is working with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) #SeeHer movement and other industry initiatives, including the UN Women Unstereotype Alliance, to convince other advertisers to commit to increasing the number of women in these roles.

It will also work with The Queen Collective, an organisation founded by actress and musician Queen Latifah, which aims to accelerate gender and racial equality behind the camera.

P&G said The Queen Collective will “fuel the pipeline of women directors” not just for its own brands but with others including, HP, Inc., Smirnoff, Wieden+Kennedy, Marina Maher Communications / Ketchum +, United Talent Agency Marketing and Tribeca Studios.

P&G will also support journalist Katie Couric’s latest initiative to produce more content, across a variety of platforms, that's created by a group of women.

Finally, a tie with the Free The Bid movement has seen P&G and its brands pledge to include a woman director on any triple-bid commercial project. P&G’s largest agency partner, Publicis Groupe, is also expanding this pledge to cover all their agencies and networks worldwide.

Pritchard stressed that these partnerships signify a broader cultural shift within the consumer goods giant which has set itself the goal of having women front half of all its ads by 2023, up from a paltry tenth at present and achieve parity at the brand-director level, where women are represented in just 41% of positions.

P&G has already taken steps to bridge the divide with some of its best performing brands also happening to be amongst its most gender equal; including Always’ #LikeAGirlads, SKII’s “Change Destiny” advertising and Olay’s “Live Fearlessly”.

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