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The brands pressing for progress this International Women’s Day

08th March 2018 - Sophie Neal

Did you know…

Today is International Women’s Day and the theme is #PressForProgress which is a call to unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive. As a team of strong, driven females, we couldn’t let this go unnoticed.

PR is an industry that is traditionally dominated by women, though few actually run their own agencies and WPP recently revealed there was still a 14% pay gap across UK agencies. However, we also work in an industry where we have the power to influence decision makers and as International Women’s Day rolls around once again, we’ve taken a look at the brands and organisations that are using their influence and voices to #PressForProgress.


Mattel conducted a survey of 8,000 mothers around the globe and found that 86% are worried about the kind of role models their daughters are exposed to. So in a bid to counter that, they are releasing dolls inspired by some of the most prominent female role models. These include Amelia Erhart (first woman to fly the Atlantic) Katherine Johnson (a pioneer in mathematics) and Frida Khalo (artist). The range will be added to over the years, but this range of ‘Sheroes’ is a welcome addition to the toy world.


In honour of International Women’s Day, McDonald’s have turned their infamous golden arches upside down to make a giant ‘W’. One restaurant in California has flipped their sign, whilst McDonald’s have flipped their logo across all digital channels. Chief Diversity Officer, Wendy Lewis said, “From restaurant crew and management to our C-suite of senior leadership, women play invaluable roles at all levels, and together with our independent franchise owners, we’re committed to their success.”

mcdonalds, international womens day



A slightly questionable campaign for IWD came from BrewDog, who turned their infamous Punk IPA into ‘Pink IPA’. In a satirical swing at brands who change their marketing to attract women (we’re looking at you, Bic) BrewDog created ‘Beer For Girls’ to highlight the gender pay gap – men earn 20% more than women in the UK. 20% of the proceeds from Punk IPA and Pink IPA sold over the next four weeks will be donated to the Women’s Engineering Society. Plus, to highlight this gap, women will be able to pick up Pink IPA in any BrewDog bar for 20% from today. I mean, I get this, but also I think if they had to explain it was satirical, perhaps it wasn’t the best move… 

BrewDog, Pink IPA
British Airways

As much as IWD is a cause for raising awareness, it’s also a cause for celebrating women. So British Airways waved off the biggest ever all-female flight this week. There were 61 women involved – The flight from London Heathrow to Glasgow took off on Monday 6 March with 61 women involved – including baggage handlers, pilots, cabin crew, flight managers, loaders and push back teams, security, check-in and airport teams. The airline is aiming to have 20% of its entrant pilots to be women by 2020. 


Spotify’s 2017 year in music stats showed a huge lack of representation for women with no women featuring in the top 10 most streamed albums worldwide, while only two female artists appeared in the top 10 songs. In a collaboration with Smirnoff, Spotify has launched the ‘Smirnoff Equalizer’, which shows listeners a breakdown of their listening habits in terms of gender. For those in favour of more male artists, it will generate a more gender-balanced playlist to ensure better representation within the industry.

Let us know what you think of these #PressForProgress campaigns and if your business is doing anything to celebrate today! @NeoPRLtd

Sam (the dog!)
Krista Le Beau
Hannah A’Court

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