Kristi Faulkner: Promoting Gender Equality with Consumer Awareness
Many of us were moved by the 2017 Audi Super Bowl commercial featuring a girl racing a boxcar, while the inspiring voice over touted the company’s commitment to gender equality. But as a consumer, how would you know whether the company really supports women’s empowerment? Where could you go to find out about their policies around family leave or how many women serve on the board?
Veteran creative director Kristi Faulkner teamed up with journalist Amy Cross to design the Gender Fair mark, a designation to boost consumer awareness of companies that truly support gender equality. (Spoiler Alert: Audi isn’t one of them.) They are passionate about creating a shift in the marketplace, rewarding businesses that believe in and champion women employees, investors and clients, and inspiring business lacking the logo to make a change for the better.
In addition to serving as founding partner of Gender Fair, Faulkner is the president of Womenkind, an agency that helps clients engage women as consumers via enhanced marketing messages that demonstrate a respect for women. During her 20-year career as an award-winning creative director at the most highly-regarded advertising agencies on Madison Avenue, Faulkner recognized a disconnect: The vast majority of products target women, yet women represent only 3% of the creative directors in the industry. She co-founded Womenkind to change the way advertisers address women, and she continues to conceive and produce multi-media, multi-channel campaigns for blue-chip clients on a global stage.
Today, Faulkner explains the metrics Gender Fair uses to rate companies, how she came to partner with Amy Cross on the project, and the trend for consumers to demonstrate preference based on shared social values. Listen in and learn how to use your purchasing power for good, supporting only those companies with a commitment to gender equality!
Key Interview Takeaways
Gender Fair inspires consumers to support companies advancing gender equality. Businesses that demonstrate a real commitment to women in areas such as employee benefits, advertising, philanthropic initiatives and partnerships with women-owned vendors receive the Gender Fair mark—similar to the Organic or Fair Trade designations.
Of the 200 companies evaluated by Gender Fair, only 15% have earned the Gender Fair designation. Companies are rated based on the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, and you can look up any company by sector through the Gender Fair website or smartphone app.
Consumers build brand loyalty with companies that share their values in a meaningful way. 85% of Americans have a positive view of companies that support causes they care about, and 79% would switch from one brand to another if the company shared their social values.
Womenkind is an advertising agency focused on bringing respect to women. Women in America make 85% of the purchasing decisions, yet 97% of creative directors are men. Faulkner points out that women buy more computers, cars and beer than men, yet female characters in commercials for these products are generally either sexualized or ignored.
Put your money where your mouth is. Both Gender Fair and Womenkind promote a shift in consumerism by way of awareness. Women have a great deal of purchasing power, and where we choose to spend our money makes a difference.
Connect with Kristi Faulkner
swipe to see more