Publish Date: Mar 29, 2024

audience looking towards speakers on stage

The Unstereotype Alliance brought together a record 306 attendees from 16 countries for its Global Member Summit, united under the theme of ‘Collective action, powering forward’. Content and conversations were centered around the growing criticality of our global mandate and how, as a collective, we can and must continue to drive progress. 

The event comprised of thought-provoking panels, keynote speeches, and discussions from across the United Nations, Unstereotype Alliance members, and special guests. Attendees left with new Unstereotype Alliance-exclusive tools, new insights, and new data all developed with one goal in mind: to help us ‘power forward’ with a new urgency to eradicate harmful stereotypes and drive positive social change.

A wealth of information was shared across the 2 days, below is a short summation of the key takeaways. 

For more information, peruse the full agenda here as well as our stellar lineup of speakers. The Open Plenary session is available to re-watch here >. For further session highlights, check out the live commentary on our X account. More content including video assets and quotes are downloadable here. 





1. The business case for progressive marketing is stronger than ever. Emerging new data shows an inextricable link between progressive portrayals in ad content and increased ROI.

New data from Kantar, Saiïd Business School at Oxford University, and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media consistently substantiated this trend. Furthermore, the monumental commercial success of Mattel’s Barbie movie was attributed to defying stereotypes, creating authentic partnerships and taking calculated risks that aligned with the brand's core values. Tapping into ‘girl culture’ and its many permutations is an opportunity for brand growth while supporting underserved communities. 

2. Underrepresentation in the industry and workforce continues to be reflected in the work. 

The State of the Industry report underscored this clearly and several discussions highlighted areas of focus for improvement - including those living with a disability, adults aged 40+, race and ethnicity, and gender, to name a few.

Member-exclusive tools were launched to help fill the gaps in available guidance including the expanded proprietary 3Ps toolkit and the brand-new Inclusive Media 3Bs playbook for planning and buying media inclusively.   

3. We must strike a careful balance in the use of Generative AI - it offers inclusion opportunities yet poses a potential risk to DE&I efforts, including baked-in bias.

Ways to safeguard against this include:

  • Consider the data inputs into models - keep creating inclusive content to 'feed' the models
  • Incorporate DE&I ideals into the creation of prompts
  • Understand people's learning styles when designing AI & be aware of its limitations  
  • Ensure underrepresented groups are on the teams working with and developing AI 
  • Use AI as a tool, not as a weapon
  • Consider girl culture as a shield against the threat of AI on creativity

4. Backlash is not the risk we think it is. Data shows that consumers are more likely to support brands that are willing to stand up to backlash. 

Key measures for success include leaning into fear, creating allyships, peers and partners, and building long-term brand strategies that start with in-house inclusion.

5. Investment in youth and amplifying youth voices will accelerate innovation and inclusion. 

Ensuring the meaningful engagement of young people will help mold the future landscape of the industry, and creating mentorship initiatives will support long-term talent retention within the industry. Protecting the inclusion of the diverse lived experiences of young people will help brands and advertisers be part of establishing new, unstereotyped narratives.

6. Accountability is critical for our collective impact - we must double down our efforts to power forward.

This sentiment was echoed throughout many sessions. The Unstereotype Alliance’s new Charter of Accountability was revealed – a framework to ensure progress is measured and tracked across the membership. The Charter includes a mechanism for members to develop benchmarks and share their impact, and to report back to UN Women against the Sustainable Development Goals.

7. A human-centered approach must always be prioritised - for inclusion and growth. Whether it is developing Generative AI, telling brand stories, or capitalising on cultural shifts, understanding authentic human stories and experiences remains paramount. 

Watch the Open Plenary