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Marketing and Comms
Brands Expand Partnerships, Amplify Messaging in Support of Gender Equality

adidas, Diageo and HP launch new films and campaigns, while PepsiCo tackles gender equality in agriculture for International Women’s Day.

adidas continues push for equality in sports, increasing visibility for female athletes

Women in sport lack visibility — research shows that only 4 percent of sports media coverage in the U.S. is dedicated to women’s sport; adidas is tackling this problem head on by pursuing equality and representation in the media.

This week, adidas moved into the second phase of its “She Breaks Barriers” initiative with a film featuring four athletes and ESPN’s Maria Taylor, that calls for equal media representation for women in sport.

The brand has also announced a partnership with Twitter and Intersport to livestream women’s high school volleyball and soccer games on the service for the first time ever. These new partnerships and continued initiatives are designed to raise awareness of issues and break down the barriers that stand between girls and sport — namely, lack of access, negative stereotypes, visibility and inequality. 

“We believe she needs to see strong female role models to inspire her to pursue her dreams. As part of our continued efforts to increase visibility for women and girls in sport, we have committed to ensuring that we will have equal gender representation across our owned social channels. This is the first step in changing how we will approach content creation in the future,” said Nicole Vollebregt, SVP of Global Purpose for adidas.

HP Inc. expands social impact partnerships to support girls’ education

HP is aiming to reinvent the future of women and girls everywhere by coupling powerful storytelling with education and technology, a combination showcased in the film, “Brave Girl Rising,” debuting today at, created by Girl Rising, Citi and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and supported by HP.

“This is a time for us to reflect on the remarkable contributions that women have made to HP and to society, while also committing to do even more,” said Dion Weisler, President and CEO of HP Inc. “We celebrate this day by providing inspiration, leadership and service to women everywhere. Diversity and inclusion is a part of our innovation strategy, is core to our values as a company, and contributes to the overall success of our business.”

“Brave Girl Rising”

The 20-minute short film spearheaded by Girl Rising — the nonprofit behind the global campaign for girls’ education and empowerment, and ongoing storytelling partner of HP — was created, written and inspired by refugees, and narrated by actress Tessa Thompson. The film shares the story of Nasro, a 17-year-old Somali refugee whose courageous drive to continue her education is inspired by the magical dreams of her mother and the sisterhood of her friends.

To coincide with the film’s release, Girl Rising, IRC, HP and Amplifier Foundation will launch a major campaign that includes screening toolkits, curricula, action guides and a street art initiative.

The power of technology and education

HP believes that technology is a key enabler in delivering education. In honor of International Women’s Day, HP also announces the expansion of its social impact programs to accelerate its gender-equity efforts. Programs such as the recent collaboration with the Clooney Foundation for Justice, UNICEF and that provides technology and training to Syrian refugees at nine Lebanese schools, is one of the many ways HP is expanding its efforts.

This partnership is only one example of how HP intends to deliver on its goal of bringing digital literacy to 100 million people by 2025. By contributing over $20 million in training and R&D, and innovations such as HP School Cloud, HP has already served 14.5 million students and adult learners.

Women Deliver

Elevating the voices of women and girls is another way HP approaches its gender equity advocacy. Last year, HP and Women Deliver launched “Stories of Advocacy,” a unique partnership to support its global Young Leaders Program. This program empowers youth advocates to catalyze gender equality action for girls and women in their communities. HP provides ongoing support, as well as technology, that drives the young leaders’ advocacy platforms forward.

At the upcoming Women Deliver conference, billed as the largest gathering in the world devoted to gender equality, HP will host breakout discussions and experiential storytelling with the Young Leaders themselves.

Nurturing the next generation of advocates and girls in STEM

HP also continues to enhance its STEM advocacy and education. For the second year in a row, HP will send a graduate cohort from Black Girls Code to Austin for the SXSW technology festival. The HP delegation will sit on the “Future Tech Boss” panel alongside other graduates of the program to discuss career paths and their own aspirations in the tech industry.

To reach younger girls, HP is partnering with Black Girls Code on an Enrichment Workshop series that utilizes storytelling, creativity and technology to inspire coding in five and six-year-olds. HP will provide students with “Rox’s Secret Code” storybooks, which will serve as the basis for building and coding their own 3D, augmented reality, custom robot. Once the workshop is over, the students will be able to continue the coding adventure via picture books and an app.

Advocating for employees

Internally, HP is structuring a monthlong celebration around International Women’s Day. The company is debuting the “Rising Together” Speaker Series, offering employees a lineup of HP senior leaders who will share their insights on topics including male allies, personal growth, advocacy and how to grow one’s career.

The series is just one example of how HP continues to increase the number of women in its workforce and in positions of leadership. Women now represent 30 percent of HP’s senior leaders and comprise 36 percent of HP’s workforce worldwide. Additionally, HP has the most diverse Board of Directors of any Fortune 100 technology company in the US (54 percent total minorities, 45 percent women, 27 percent underrepresented minorities).

HP says its bold vision for the future has a lot more women and underrepresented groups contributing to the health and success of its business.

Diageo releases short film about gender balance in advertising

Spirits giant Diageo’s new short film discusses the role of advertising in shaping culture, the historic misrepresentation of women in advertising and strategies, and partnerships to support more progressive gender portrayal in content.

The film also focuses on the importance of diversity in the advertising industry itself – highlighting the organizations working to address imbalances behind the camera and in creative departments.

“Through the millennia, culture has been shaped by the stories we tell and if you think about it, advertising is telling stories that are backed by billions of dollars to have them heard,” says Diageo CMO Syl Saller. “I am convinced we can normalize gender equality with what we choose to show in our ads, and who we choose to make them. We strongly believe that diverse teams create all kinds of different stories, stories which portray men and women as they really are, stories that are eminently relatable.”

The film’s release comes as 50 women take part in the Creative EqualsReturners” scheme called #CreativeComeback. Backed by the UK Government Equalities Office, the scheme is designed to support women in the UK creative industries as they return to work after a career break of at least 12 months, with an ultimate goal to place female art directors, producers, copywriters, data analysts, designers and concept creators back into work.

Diageo is a sponsor of the scheme and the group of returners will work on briefs for two of Diageo’s iconic global brands – Baileys and Guinness. The latter is celebrating becoming an official partner of the 2019 Women’s Six Nations with a new ad campaign following the rivalry between two rugby-playing sisters on opposing national teams.

Sisters,” released to coincide with International Women’s Day and the England vs Scotland match, tells the real-life story of siblings Harriet and Bridget Millar-Mills, who grew up playing rugby together until 2013, when they competed in the Women’s Six Nations on opposing teams; one sister was drafted to England and the other to Scotland.

PepsiCo Foundation, CARE tackle gender inequality in agriculture

Meanwhile, from films to fields … the PepsiCo Foundation has announced a partnership with global poverty-fighting organization CARE with an $18.2 million grant to tackle gender inequality in the agriculture sector. The grant will provide 5 million female farmers and their families around the world with education, resources and economic support to help them increase their crop yields, incomes and access to nutrition locally.

The partnership is part of a broader effort by PepsiCo to support a more sustainable food system by empowering women in its own agricultural supply chain — including through its Sustainable Farming Program currently active in 38 countries, and by investing in multisector agricultural programs that have the potential to achieve systems change at scale.

Women account for nearly half of all agricultural labor in developing countries and work as much as 13 hours more per week than men — often without training, proper tools such as seeds and fertilizers, and rights to their land. Research shows that if female farmers had the same access to resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20-30 percent, potentially reducing the number of hungry people in the world by up to 150 million.

To meet the nutrition needs of a growing global population, CARE has launched She Feeds the World, the largest food and nutrition security program in its 70-year history, benefitting 50 million female farmers and their families in the developing world. As the largest private sector donor, The PepsiCo Foundation’s investment will help women access the resources they need to increase their production — including land rights, financing and agricultural inputs, such as seeds; access new markets for their products; and develop the skills and techniques to build resilient and sustainable farms. The grant will support women farmers in significant food producing countries and where PepsiCo and CARE work: Egypt, Guatemala, India, Nigeria, Peru and Uganda.

“She Feeds the World will help millions of small hold women farmers get the resources and training they need to increase their crop yields, access markets and gain more reliable sources of income,” said Ramon Laguarta, PepsiCo Chairman and CEO and The PepsiCo Foundation Chairman. “The PepsiCo Foundation is investing in this initiative because it has the potential to create change at scale, increasing food security and enhancing the livelihoods of 50 million women farmers and their families.”     

“We are thrilled to partner with The PepsiCo Foundation, which shares our belief that women farmers possess enormous potential to substantially improve family nutrition and reduce hunger. Grounded in 70 years of experience developing impactful and proven models, CARE’s She Feeds the World is a bold approach that aims to scale what works,” said Michelle Nunn, CARE’s President and CEO. “We know that we cannot do this work without engaging forward-thinking private sector partners, like The PepsiCo Foundation, to catalyze systemic and lasting change.”

PepsiCo and CARE have also launched a global campaign called “Closing the Crop Gap” to give women a platform to tell their own stories about the challenges they face in agriculture.

This campaign spotlights female farmers in India, Egypt, Guatemala, Poland and the United States with short-form videos created by female videographers from the same regions as the farmers whose stories they are sharing. Members of the public can vote for their favorite video, in exchange for a credit for a Kiva microloan that can be used to benefit other female entrepreneurs. The videographer who receives the most votes will be invited to create an extended, three-part docuseries that explores the experiences of women in agriculture. Voting began on March 7 and more information can be found at