“Break The Bias”

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“Break The Bias”

Now that the hard sells, motivational speeches, tear-jerking memes and mother and daughter portraits have subsided, it seems apposite to assess who the winner and losers of International Women’s Day actually were. Clue: it wasn’t the brands pushing the hard sells. I can only speak for myself, but the fashion and beauty brands who marked the day by promoting their slogan T-shirts, flogging their sex toys, emphasising their lingerie is “for the comfort of women” or offering a discount on their products weren’t really reading the room. 

This year’s IWD theme being “Break The Bias”, it would have felt more meaningful if those brands trying to sell us stuff had at least acknowledged what practical steps could be taken to tackle this bias, and acknowledge whether they themselves were doing anything to support their female employees before the Gender Pay Gap bot, @payGapApp, outed them on Twitter.

Women are more suspicious than ever of performative statements that do little to improve their lot in real terms. We don’t want empty gestures. We want affordable childcare, flexible working and wages that go some way to closing the gender pay gap. At the very least, brands could make a donation to a women’s charity.

Greta Thurnberg says it best: IWD is not for celebrating. It’s for protesting against and raising awareness that people are still being oppressed or treated differently because of their gender. 

What Laura Thinks…

“This would have been a useful email to receive on IWD, but even classier to send it a day after, so as not to appear to be selling something off its back. Snappy header, too.” 

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