To support the adoption of the Womens Empowerment Principles [WEP], The Buy Up Index [BUI] commits to launch an innovative market-based solution: the Gender Fair Mark. The Gender Fair Mark metrics are based directly on the WEP. Importantly, the Gender Fair Mark delivers on the 7th Principle: measuring progress and reporting publicly to stakeholders who are not generally considered the end-user or consumer.
BUI created the Gender Fair Mark, which is a service mark or insignia that will appear on packaging and marketing material to designate products, services, and companies as Gender Fair. The Gender Fair Mark promotes gender equality worldwide by encouraging companies and institutions to adopt practices of equality in order to qualify for it. Once it is understood that gender equality is in their own best economic interest, companies will increasingly work to adopt the WEP in their core business operation.
The Gender Fair Mark will clearly identify companies that actively practice gender fairness; have paid maternity leave, better family policies, and more women in executive roles; and support minority and women-owned subcontractors. A companys commitment to and demonstration of gender fairness will be thoroughly evaluated and measured against current benchmarks. Fully aligned with the WEP, this data is trackable, measurable, and non-subjective. Only those companies and brands with proven, comprehensive gender fair practices are eligible to feature the mark on their packaging, website, and marketing materials.
This is a market-driven solution that requires the consumers participation to succeed. As such, BUI is creating a multimedia consumer marketing campaign to drive meaningful awareness of the Gender Fair Mark. The publicity-generating campaign will inspire consumers to support forward-thinking companies that support equality and create demand. Through this campaign, participating brands will be able to communicate and prove to consumers that they are gender fair in their business practices, employee policies, marketing, and more. By displaying the Gender Fair Mark on their packaging, advertisements, and websites, brands will provide consumers with the assurance they need to make informed purchasing decisions, while also giving consumers the opportunity to demonstrate preference for those companies whose values align with their own. Ultimately, the Gender Fair Mark leverages the true economic power of women as consumers to spur action and compliance in business.
Through this commitment, BUI will: 1) Work with some current CGI member organizations to enable them to become Gender Fair and certify their products and services by June 2018; 2) Recruit 10 companies that are not currently CGI members to join CGI and become Gender Fair certified; and 3) Enable over a hundred other pre-selected companies in the Buy Up Index database to reach the Gender Fair standard, as outlined by the WEP, within two years.
The BUI is comprised of marketing and media professionals who recognize the need for a consumer awareness campaign to garner support and inspire action where it counts: in the marketplace. They have developed an ambitious marketing communications strategy to effectively engage consumers (men, women, teens, and children) in the movement.
In partnership with Womenkind, a strategic marketing services firm with the expertise to help brands better connect with women, the BUI is developing a 360º multi-media marketing campaign that will include video, digital, social, and content.
Summer 2016: Approach CGI consumer brand partners that already score high for gender fairness and encourage their involvement in the Gender Fair mark program.
September 2016: Announcement and soft launch. Commence design of a consumer awareness campaign to explain what the mark means to women and how women, as the worlds most powerful consumer, can leverage their economic power to raise the tides for all women.
January 2017: Launch the consumer awareness campaign. Introduce the partners that have earned it, and promote their products, services, and companies as Gender Fair. Establish the first Gender Fair Day for 2017, help gender fair
companies promote, and socialize it to all their immediate stakeholders celebrating the progress they have made in gender equity.
April 2017: Approach CGI consumer brand partners that do not score well for gender fairness, and present an analysis of their strengths and weakness, opportunities, and challenges. Work with these partners and consultants to increase their Gender Fair score so they may eventually qualify for the Gender Fair mark on their products.
June 2017: Evaluate the market performance of the first stage Gender Fair mark holders; build a business case for attracting more into the program. Continue to work with those through 2019 on programs to lift their organizations to a qualifying Gender Fair mark level.
June 2017- June 2019: Continue effort to entice more companies to evolve their policies to qualify: coaching organizations on optimal gender fair policies and driving consumer awareness, preference, and loyalty to those products and services that have earned the mark.
January 2018: Continue to promote the Gender Fair mark amongst consumers while encouraging more companies to make organizational changes to qualify for the mark.
June 2018: Have 100% of the CGI partners qualified to feature the Gender Fair mark on their product packaging, marketing, services, and company promotional sites.
September 2019: Calculate effect of Gender Fair Program Reevaluate the metrics and set benchmarks higher in accordance with increased adoption of gender fair principles.
In 2010, the United Nations issued the Womens Empowerment Principles in support of the Third Millennium Development Goal: to promote gender equality and empower women. Unfortunately, adoption has been inadequate to create real change.
Six years later, only a small number of consumer-facing companies in the US have formally committed to these transformative principles, and progress is slower than it should be. Few women reach leaderships top ranks. 82% of companies dont report on employee diversity and even less report supplier diversity. Only 12% of US companies offer paid maternity leave. Over 90% of ad imagery reinforces stereotypes and one-third of companies do no women-focused philanthropy according to our own internal research.
Meanwhile, women control more than $7 trillion dollars of the economy and influence more that 85% of purchases. Women are often referred to by marketers as the CFO of the home because they're the primary consumers of goods and services, both in the US and globally. Companies recognize the power of womens dollars, but women themselves dont; they lack credible information about the state of equality within the companies from which they buy.
The companies that market goods and services (overwhelmingly to women) often fail to treat women employees or women-owned suppliers equally. Though corporations might recognize a womans economic power as a desired end-market consumer, they bombard her with messages that are undercutting, clichéd, and vapid.
This inequity is intolerablebut not insurmountable.
The solution lies in providing stronger, clearer incentives for companies to align with the goals of the consumers who drive their revenue. The Buy Up Index will be able to show consumers they have the power to drive this massive change.
BUI seeks the involvement of all CGI partner organizations that have products or services that are branded and marketed. Each qualifying company will be invited to participate in a consumer awareness campaign that drives awareness of the mark and celebrates the companies that earn it. The strategic goal of the Gender Fair Mark is to give these companies a competitive edge in the marketplace and create a brand preference and loyalty to those that feature the mark, while supporting the WEP and measuring its effectiveness.
BUI seeks a financial contribution toward the cost of producing the consumer campaign (digital, print, video, and content). BUI also seeks cooperative support on the media buy, or donations of media time, space, or outlets.
The Gender Fair Mark is a market-based solution to bring the world closer to fulfilling the Womens Empowerment Principles. Featuring the Gender Fair Mark on packaging and marketing materials provides consumers motivation to support companies that align with their own best interests. Buy Up Index invites the participation of all CGI members. BUI is offering an impartial organizational and brand assessment to CGI partner organizations. This consultation will provide organizations with best practices and strategies for meeting and exceeding the WEP goals, and will recognize those that already do.
To those companies that qualify for the mark, BUI invites participation in the multi-media consumer-facing campaign celebrating brands that have earned the Gender Fair Mark. The campaign is designed to drive awareness of companies and brands with certified gender fair practices, and provide those brands a competitive edge in the marketplace.
To those that do not qualify for the Gender Fair Mark, BUI offers consultative services and a plan of action to make progress toward gender equality goals and align with the Womens Empowerment Principles.