Iris address workplace gender stereotypes with all-male calendar

The calendar, which lasted for 13 months from March 2018 to March 2019, is based on the term of ‘office housework’.

To address the unconscious biases that men form and act on, and biases that women are not able to break free from, Iris has released an all-male calendar to mark International Women’s Day 2019.

Named ‘The Conscious Calendar’, it features 13 male ‘models of support’ volunteers, who all work at the creative agency. The men are set as characters, such as The Tissue Treasurer, The Concall Whisperer, The Cake Slinger, The Dongle Wrangler, The Tree Hugger, The H20 Hustler, etc.

The calendar will be available for 13 months from March 2019 to March 2020. It is based on the concept of ‘office housework’, which are admin tasks that default to women, reinforce the gender biases and ultimately hold women back from advancing their careers.

Some of the office housework scenarios that the agency found defaulted to women were calling a cab, buying and cutting a birthday cake, offering to split the bill, carrying tissues on them, decorating the Christmas tree and dialling the conference call.

Iris wants to grow awareness about these unconscious biases with the calendar and challenge the preset ways of doing things. It hopes this will not only eliminate these biases but also drive a behavioural change.

“Asking people to change their decades-old, culturally ingrained, and socially enforced stereotypes is no small task. The cultural effect of our collective behaviours is huge, and there is a very real opportunity to transform culture through the small and implicit everyday interactions we have,” said Sorcha John, the managing director of Iris Singapore.

“The Conscious Calendar is a small effort on our parts to remind the industry that change only comes when we’re awake to the guises of sexism and deliberate in our individual efforts to make full equality our reality.”

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