The brand’s ‘#Changethenumbers’ campaign comes on the back of an international piece of research measured across five countries, which questioned over 5,000 participants.
The results show that in the UK, 71% of people think men are more suited to being high-level scientists, much higher than the European average of 60%. Less than a third (31%) of people in the UK would picture a woman when asked to think of a scientist – also far lower than European average of 41%.
In response to the research, the beauty brand is running a digital campaign aimed at driving conversations around the subject and challenging commonly held beliefs among men and women.
“When you’re in the academic world of science, you probably know that these issues are bubbling around,” L’Oréal UK’s head of external affairs Katy Gandon told Marketing Week.
“We wanted to publish these stats to try and change the perceptions of a broader audience.”
There is a hub showing the research that also allows people to test their perceptions by taking a questionnaire and comparing the results to others.
“It is entirely social and digital based. We will listen and watch the conversations that are happening around the site and on the Twittersphere,” she said.
L’Oréal will initially measure the campaign’s success by looking at how many people are using the site, sharing the content and completing the questionnaire.
“We want to see how many people it has touched as a basic measurement. In a year’s time, we want to see if perceptions have actually changed,” Gandon commented.
Getting young people into science
Besides promoting its #Changethenumbers campaign, the brand is also keen to push its ‘L’Oréal Young Scientist Centre’ project aimed at getting young adults into STEM careers.
“We are a company that was founded by a scientist, but when you see a 10-second lipstick ad people might not immediately think of science,” Gandon added.
“Breaking down those stereotypes for young people and explaining that they can work in diverse fields like technology or FMCG, that’s one of the jobs we really want to do.”
Both projects are part of L’Oréal’s long-term commitment to promote science on an international level.
“All companies have a responsibility to try and help with societal issues and everything we do is linked to science and beauty,” she said.
“These projects are focused on what we can do to encourage people to take up science while challenging perceptions of what it is to be a scientist by using our scale and brand name in association.”
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