About the Unstereotype Alliance

Recognising the power of partnerships to accelerate progress, this industry-led initiative convened by UN Women unites industry leaders, decision-makers and creatives to end harmful gender stereotypes in advertising.

The Unstereotype Alliance has been embraced by businesses and organisations championing the end of gender bias in advertising. The Unstereotype Alliance works to affect positive cultural change by using the power of advertising to help shape perceptions. Our membership work towards a world without stereotypes, empowering women in all their diversity, whether that be related to race, class, age, ability, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, language or education and addressing harmful masculinities to help create a gender equal world.

Manifesto

Stereotypes are deeply embedded in our everyday lives. They influence individual attitudes, affecting the way we see ourselves and the people and world around us. Cumulatively, these attitudes shape communities and cultures.

Unchallenged, harmful stereotypes are a root cause of gender discrimination and inequality. As long as these attitudes are perpetuated and reinforced in advertising and media culture, we cannot hope to achieve a truly equal world. As brands, advertisers and creatives, we have the power to influence culture and society in a positive way by challenging these biased attitudes. The industry must ensure the advertising or content we create shows people as progressive, authentic and multi-dimensional. We must cooperate to intervene and dismantle harmful stereotypes in the pursuit of a truly equal world.  

Code of principles

As Members of the Unstereotype Alliance, to realise our common vision, we commit to create unstereotyped branded content by:

  • Depicting people as empowered actors
  • Refraining from objectifying people
  • Portraying progressive and multi-dimensional personalities not vacuous

We aim to foster an unstereotyped culture, through:

  • Driving gender balance in senior leadership and creative roles
  • Directly addressing unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion through training as a standard across the industry
  • Challenging each other as advertisers and advertising agencies to deliver the best unstereotyped marketing content — and ensuring, as brands, that we only buy the best, most unstereotyped work
  • And we pledge to hold ourselves accountable by setting clear goals and measuring change annually

 

"Stereotypes reflect deep-rooted ideas of femininity and masculinity. Negative, diminished conceptions of women and girls are one of the greatest barriers for gender equality and we need to tackle and change those images wherever they appear. Advertising is a particularly powerful driver to change perceptions and impact social norms. UN Women is excited to partner with the foremost industry shapers in this Alliance to challenge and advance the ways women are represented in this field." 

— Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka Executive Director of UN Women