Mars, Incorporated Tuesday launched #HereToBeHeard, a new global crowdsourcing campaign that elevates the voices of women from all intersections – including race, age, sexuality, religion and ability – to help shape a more inclusive business environment and create a world where all women can thrive.
As part of the company’s Full Potential platform for action on gender equity in its workplaces, sourcing communities, and the marketplace, #HereToBeHeard asks women everywhere: “What needs to change so more women can reach their full potential?” The responses will inform the concrete actions Mars will take – both within its value chain and in broader society – to close the gender opportunity gap.
Victoria Mars, Mars Board Member and ambassador of Mars’ Full Potential program said, “Women have played a powerful role in our history and leadership at Mars. But we have more to do. We’re striving to empower more women within our workplace, and across our extended value chain.”
“The magnitude and urgency of gender inequality in society demands more action. If global business doesn’t listen and step up now, then when? Business can have an outsized impact on driving change at scale. At Mars we’re seizing this opportunity to expand the conversation and drive action. The #HereToBeHeard movement is about ensuring that all women’s voices have a chance to be heard and translating what we hear into impact plans that advance gender equality,” Mars said.
To kick off the conversation, Emmy-award winning actress and host, Tamera Mowry-Housley joins a roster of inspiring women influencers including Poppy Jamie, Hani Sidow, Helen Wu & Kellie Gerardi who will lend their experiences and invite women to share their voices and vision at beheard.mars.com.
Emmy-award winning actress and host Tamera Mowry-Housley said, “It’s unacceptable that so many women continue to face disproportionate barriers and roadblocks at work, at home and in their daily lives. If we’re really going to ensure every woman reaches her full potential, we have to consider the diversity of our backgrounds, our talents and our experiences. All our voices deserve to be heard,”
“I think it’s brave for a major corporation like Mars to say we’ve not done enough and that it’s time to listen up. That’s why I’m excited to help Mars elevate the voices of many of the women who go unheard,” Mowry-Housley said.
Currently, women make up 51 percent of the world’s population and have the potential to contribute $28 trillion to the global GDP, and yet so often their voices go unheard. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, the United Nations estimated it would take more than a century to close the gender opportunity gap. Now, the pandemic has set progress for gender equality back by 25 years. Its impact has been particularly devastating for women in minority groups who for far too long have been overlooked in the conversation.
The initial phase of #HeretoBeHeard, where women’s voices will be collected, will run through March; after which the submissions will be analyzed by the Oxford Future of Marketing Initiative (FOMI) at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. The results will be shared with the world in a study by Oxford this summer and will inform the action plans of Mars’ Full Potential platform, including policies Mars can implement and advocate for in its commitment to unlock opportunities for women.
Launched last year, the Full Potential program aims to drive gender equality for all through a range of actions. By putting inclusivity and diversity at the heart of its efforts, Mars has:
- Achieved gender pay equity across its workforce of 133,000 Associates, more than half of whom are women.
- Progressed to 43 percent gender-balance across business leadership teams, with a target of having 100% gender balance across leadership teams.
- Expanded its partnership with humanitarian aid agency CARE to empower 50,000 people in cocoa sourcing communities, the primary beneficiaries of which are women.
- Been working with the Geena Davis Institute and UNStereotype Alliance to eliminate gender bias and stereotypes in its advertising.
- Embraced transparency in articulating the company’s gender commitments and progress, which can be found here.
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