Thought Leadership

How brands supported International Women’s Day

The marketing flurry of International Women’s Day is over for another year, but keeping up momentum all year round is essential for progressive brands.

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


With the World Economic Forum citing gender parity is 132 years away at the current rate of pace and the IPA’s Agency Census revealing the pay gap in the advertising industry remains stubborn, International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month this March marked an important inflection point. One marked by a flurry of brand activity. Yet maintaining this momentum beyond March is essential for brands moving beyond the empty rhetoric of ‘awareness raising’ in isolation. 

The Gender Pay Gap bot was back for another year exposing any company that displayed IWD messages, while also maintaining significant gender pay gaps. Meanwhile a  CPB campaign highlighted the double standards of everyday sexist language and the impact it has in cutting down and diminishing the skills of women. While Durex spotlighted a sexual pleasure gap and McCann and Nurofen hosted an event that shared the impact of medical misogyny;  a system which contributes to an ecosystem in which women endure significant pain, while having their experiences dismissed by professionals.

The advertising industry has a unique opportunity to highlight these inequalities and brands have the power and influence to change the narrative. International Women’s Day may be over but as Women’s History Month draws to a close, to maintain momentum BITE has pulled together a round-up of the work and thought leadership which made a difference this month and will continue to  fuel conversation and continue to close the gap over the year ahead.

'Change your words, to change the narrative’

This simple juxtaposition, used by CPB London in the ‘Double Standards’ campaign, showed the power of creative clarity to underline that the playing field for women is far from level.

Go Hug Yourself: Part One 

The roll back in gender equality means that International Women’s day demands so much more than performative feminism.

Go Hug Yourself: Part Two 

The second part of our series looked at the opportunity to move beyond the performative feminism of ‘one and done’ awareness raising campaigns.

Campaign calls for a day of action not commercialisation for IWD 

The ‘Still Present’ campaign aims to galvanise a new generation of activists

A little less conversation, a little more action please 

Thoughts on what we can DO this International Women’s Day

Will International Women’s Day 2023 be a turning point for performative feminism?

Performative feminism won’t wash with weary audiences.

Let’s work to address inequity in our industry 

NABS shares how International Women’s Day is a day to consider the state of inequity in our industry.

It’s very unhelpful for brands to be superficial 

Jessica Gunn, Editor of Waitrose Food on why International Women’s Day demands more than a branded cocktail.

Durex addresses the pleasure gap for International Women’s Day 

Sexual wellbeing brand Durex disrupted a London screening of a football game by switching off the screen at ‘climatic’ moments for Orgasm Equity campaign

International Women’s Day 2023: Embracing Equity - Creativebrief picks

An insight into Creativebrief’s top picks for International Women’s Day

You can’t be what you see 

Why the advertising industry needs to step up and help fix the digital gender gap

Unwrapping the gender pay gap

CEO of Crispin Porter Bogusky, Helen James, delves into reasons why women are choosing to opt out of senior roles. Why this is a problem at the core of the gender pay gap and why fixing it needs to get back to the top of the agenda for businesses and brands.

How Nuerofen and McCann are closing the Gender Pain Gap

McCann’s ‘Go Hug* Yourself’ event highlighted the importance of Nurofen’s See My Pain campaign in closing the gender pain gap

Shared Parental Leave: Could this be the answer to the Motherhood Penalty?

For women’s history month Mullenlowe's Siobhan Brunwin spotlights an issues preventing achieving gender parity