Is Gender Equality Future-Proof?

March 30, 2017 | Kyle Fraser

Frustrated voters join a Facebook page that transforms into the Women’s March movement, drawing an estimated 5 million participants. Natalie Portman speaks out about the gender pay-gap in Hollywood. Kenzo shakes up traditional advertising expectations in the perfume industry. Hertz appoints a woman as their new CEO. In both advertising and companies at large, women are starting to gain honest and equal representation. There’s still a long way to go but the climate has grown increasingly receptive towards empowering women to achieve equal standing … but is equality enough?

The following is an excerpt from Innate Motion’s latest publication, Beyond the Powergirl, which showcases an enhanced range of feminine values that extend beyond the masculine skewed identity (the “powergirl”) that business, brands and the media have offered to empower women in society:

As brand, innovation and communication crafters, we have the chance to inspire the women we serve, broadening the landscape of feminine aspirational identities, so more girls and women see and share who they can be and who they want to be, taking part in societal change.

This does not mean – as now seems to be the general belief – that we need to picture a world of powergirls as the only identity to aspire to. It is time to inspire women to unleash their full potential. It is time to go beyond the powergirl*.

This piece of work aims to imagine the many positive female qualities and values that will be unlocked in the near future, when women will finally feel free to express and share their full capacities in society.

If we look at industrial society (to not go too far!) we see how women have been marginalized to background roles with well-defined and narrow expectations in terms of aspirations and roles to fulfill. Through the centuries women were given, by the cultural establishment, just a few defined colors of the pantone to express themselves leading to a limitation and underestimation of society’s potential.

As society evolves towards a more inclusive participation, gender equality has recently been given more ample attention. A general awareness has developed that societies will be stronger, richer and better when women participate with their full selves. For societies to develop further, it is clear that we need to urgently move away from the limited scope of options that are set as examples and the predominantly repressive nature of these, like the caring mum, the perfect housewife and the pleasing wife.

Thought-leaders around the world have been discussing and taking action regarding the ways we represent girls and women and their aspirations in the media and in advertising in particular, since the image created and the stereotypes used, impact female self-esteem, hopes and dreams and thus the roles women aspire to, seek and get in society.

We want to build on the existing work done by shedding light on the full pantone of feminine qualities and values that women treasure and that society as a whole can benefit from.

Because the future will not just be gender neutral or full of powergirls as the only identity to aspire to. The future will be much richer, brighter and colorful. The future will be more feminine.

With Beyond the Powergirl, Innate Motion has provided a voice for an enhanced range of feminine values using sixteen archetypal identities.

“Archetypes are “meaning-devices” that allow us to understand ourselves, relate to others, and confront the dilemmas of our human existence. Ultimately, they help us as people or as organizations to understand who we are and who we want to become.”

Every archetype asserts how we can move beyond “equality”. They all have a desire and a key value, and each archetype is represented by two public figures. For example, the “Female Expert” of tomorrow “builds upon the confidence acquired over the years and combines this with trust in her instincts and intuition.” She is also willing to share her knowledge with others. As one of the most cited and influential theoretical physicists of the past decade, Innate Motion sees Lisa Randall as one such expert who celebrates her trust in intuition over mastering perfection.

This is just a small introduction to our series of articles, showcasing Beyond the Powergirl and future feminine archetypes — identities and values that have the potential to revolutionize brands and business, helping them adapt to a changing societal landscape. For more on these archetypes and how to make best use of them for your brand and business, download your own Beyond the Powergirl ebook here.

This piece was originally published on BTheChange

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