New research by Unilever has claimed outdated gender stereotypes are not just held by men, but women too.
The study, which interviewed more than 9,000 men and women across eight countries, shows an overwhelming 77% of men believe a man is the best choice to lead a high stakes projects. But, most surprisingly, more than half (55%) of the women polled believe in this mentality as well.
The research also shows men and woman struggle to speak up about workplace discrimination and inappropriate behaviour. Nearly three quarters (67%) of women feel they are ‘pressured’ to simply ‘get over’ inappropriate behaviour. And just over half (55%) of men and almost two-thirds (64%) of women believe men do not challenge each other when they witness such behaviour.
Meanwhile, a massive 60% of women and 49% of men claim stereotypes personally impact their career, life or both.
“Stereotypes and social norms have a huge impact on gender equality issues globally. Whether consciously or unconsciously we are all subject to the biases in our mindsets,” says Keith Weed, Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer.
Separately, the research also shows the significant role advertising plays in preventing progressive gender perceptions among children. Nearly three out of four respondents (70%) believe the world would be a ‘better place’ if today’s children were not still exposed to gender stereotypes in media and marketing.
Unilever launched #Unstereotype in June 2016, announcing a global ambition for its 400+ brands to advance advertising away from stereotypical portrayals of gender and to use its platforms to positively and progressively represent both men and women.