“Gender Week”- A Week from IWD to think Gender Disparity Together

30 March 2021

“Gender Week”- A Week from IWD to think Gender Disparity Together

In honor of the International Women’s Day (8 March), TBWA\HAKUHODO held its first “Gender Week – A Week to Think about Gender and Us”, a week-long in-house online event in which all employees were invited to actively think about gender gap problems we are facing and our role as a creative agency.

「Peace Pirates」 presents – Gender Week

The event was planned and operated by the “Peace Pirates,” a diversity promotion working group formed by volunteer employees. Through various contents such as guest lectures, seminars and discussions by TH members, and daily newsletter, the event covered a wide range of topics such as menstrual and health problems faced by women, gender disparity in Japan, leadership and work styles, and gender labeling shown in media expressions.
(Please stay tuned for the introduction of “Peace Pirates” in STORIES!)

According to the post-event survey, 100% of the respondents answered that the event was meaningful, and about 80% answered that there was a “change in their awareness”. Many participants expressed their thoughts and appreciation on the event, saying “It was good to have an opportunity to talk openly about sensitive topics that are not usually talked about at work,” or “It has changed my way of thinking and values. I would like to make use of it in my future work.”

Our COO Chris Iki said, “I think we were able to raise the level of knowledge and awareness of gender among our members through this event. In the past, we have held various in-house lectures and study sessions, but this was a week where we were able to learn and think about things from a different perspective. It was also a great opportunity for us to hear the various concerns and true feelings of our employees, and it gave us a chance to rethink the future of our company’s systems and culture.”

Here are some sneak peek of the Week!

【Contents of TBWA\HAKUHODO “Gender Week” (※some are omitted)】

<Disruptor Series>

Guest speakers and TH facilitators from Disruptor Series during Gender Week

Guest speakers and TH facilitators from Disruptor Series during Gender Week

TBWA\HAKUHODO have been holding “Disruptor Series” lecture series for years, inviting guests who are working beyond the conventional wisdom in various industries. For this year’s Gender Week, we invited four guests who are specialists in a wide range of fields to speak.

Ms. Mari Miura and Ms. Kiyon Shin, Co-Presidents of Parity Academy
Mr. Takayuki Kiyota, President of Momoyama Shoji, a unit for collecting relationship stories, and others

Toward a Society without Gender Disparity – Where do we start first?
Re-thinking “Masculinity”
Knowing and Thinking about Menstruation “Health Consultation Room”

We discussed the social structures of Japan that has various gender disparities and ranked 121st in the world in the gender gap index, as well as the importance of “diversity in leadership” for women to play an active role in society as leaders. The sessions were inviting to male employees to affirm that in terms of gender issues not only women but also men have to take the leadership. One session was dedicated to re-think “masculinity” in Japanese society, and another session provided an opportunity for both men and women to deepen their understanding of “menstruation”, which is not usually discussed openly.

<Seminar and Disucssions by TH Members>

Screenshots from Internal Seminars produced by TH members

Screenshots from Internal Seminars produced by TH members

Study sessions were held by TH members who belong to “Peace Pirates,” the diversity promotion working group that planned Gender Week.

UnLabeling Salon – Let’s talk about images of women in the media
Gender, and how we work from now on

In the Unlabeling Salon, the results of a survey on perceptions of the image of women portrayed in the Japanese media and their “labeling” were discussed, and the need to update our awareness as employees of advertising companies was questioned. In the seminar produced by 65dB TOKYO of TBWA\HAKUHODO and Career Women Lab of Hakuhodo, employees from different departments and positions spoke frankly about their own experiences and worries regarding gender issues, and discussed how they would like to work and what the workplace should be like in the future.

As a creative agency that is responsible for delivering messages to society through advertising, TBWA\HAKUHODO believe that it is one of our important duties to help realize a society where all people can live vibrant lives by having each of our employees understand and think from the perspective of different people. Going forward, we will continue to address not only gender issues but also a variety of other issues in the area of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and engage in various activities within and outside the company.
We will be sharing our efforts in STORIES so stay tuned!

Communication Team (koho@tbwahakuhodo.co.jp)