International Women’s Day is a moment to reflect on how far gender equality has come – and how far we have to go – but it’s fair to say that the situation we find ourselves in this year is unlike any other. It sometimes feels as if decades of progress have been undone in a matter of months.
LinkedIn’s data has shown that Covid-19 has disproportionately impacted women’s careers. Women’s jobs are more vulnerable than men’s and women have been hired at a lower rate since the pandemic.
Many brands feel they have a role to play by amplifying our calendar’s Women’s Day message, LinkedIn, being the homeplace for the professional community to share with & support each other, truly had a responsibility to help women’s careers.
Motivate LinkedIn users to celebrate the women in their professional lives & encourage them to share their stories to ultimately connect them with the right people to support them
Become synonymous as the professional community space for all career aspects – not just a job board, not just a tech company
– Share of Voice – Play a vital role in encouraging awareness & conversation around Women equality in the workplace during IWD 2021
– Acts of change – Actionable opportunities & improvements for women in the workplace
Call upon the LinkedIn community to celebrate women who’ve endured the hardship of the last year
Share of conversation – Stories & connections around IWD 2021 to stem from LinkedIn out
All too often, the human rights calendar becomes a list of PR opportunities for brands to extend a message of good but sadly, it quickly becomes an empty gesture in terms of demonstrating action or practical tools/help for the message they’re promoting.
During the COVID pandemic, women quickly became disenfranchised & their jobs more vulnerable than men.
Analysis of LinkedIn data shows that women’s careers have been more adversely affected by disruptions to jobs in retail, travel, leisure, and women were less likely to work in remote-ready roles.
Compounded by the (increased) home responsibilities stereotypically put on the women’s shoulders, women’s professional careers were under threat & the general cloud of the pandemic shadowed the necessary awareness & support required for this startling fact.
Making this International Women’s Day a mark in the calendar that LinkedIn had a moral responsibility to take a stand to. As the platform offers people not only the opportunity to explore new jobs & update their CVs, but is an active community in your discipline that can enrich your careers, resonate with your stories and extend your network & opportunities available to you… simply by making a post & sharing your story.
Genuine support to close the gap between awareness & action
Together, we can get back on track
We undertook a 3 phased comms approach – designed to amplify & extend the message ahead of, during, and beyond IWD:
IGNITE: Having a mechanic which slightly deviated from the usual IWD behaviour, other brands preparing their own version of the message & the day itself being on a Monday – so we had a weekend to factor in – it was important we set the landscape & teased the problem, message, hashtag & card-holding ahead of time to generate a presence which wouldn’t peak too late
INVOLVE: We wanted to maximise the activity & activate as many people as we could on the day by unpacking our message & mechanic at scale
INVEST: Legitimise & extend the message beyond just the day – important the foundation we’ve built is continued
We created discussion in the media ahead of time to build momentum ahead of IWD & raise awareness of the pandemic affecting the careers of women all over the world; with live conversations taking place online between panelists, interviews on mainstream news stations & articles populating newsfeeds from a range of lifestyle publications & outlets.
Due to IWD falling on a Monday, we acknowledged there would be little social & less than usual media engagement to build upon our narrative before the rush of comms from other groups & brands on the day.
Therefore, it was essential to establish our message & card-holding mechanic ahead of IWD to ensure adoption & participation.
By using a 15sec teaser of our feature film through paid formats, and recruiting some of our influencers with sizable professional followings to share our message from the Friday prior, we were able to secure reach and familiarity early on.
This campaign leads with an emotive film showcasing inspirational real-life stories of seven women from around the world. The film, directed by social-conscious filmmaker Jessie Ayles, takes viewers across the world to meet real women telling us their emotive accounts of doubts, fears and vulnerabilities they have experienced during the pandemic.
The seven women featured tell their personal stories about who in their community gave them the confidence and support to get through the pandemic in order to highlight both the issue and the solution.
The film was edited into 7 cutdowns for different, shorter formats & translated across markets.
Meanwhile, the campaign leans on influencers, partnerships and the wider community to share their stories of women who have inspired them using #WeCanDoIt, as well as voices from male influencers on how to be a better ally for women in the workplace.
Taking things further, we commissioned female artists to create stickers & artwork to be used in Story formats & sharable media to be used as wished – some even using them as profile pictures!
The aim is to engage all LinkedIn members’ on International Women’s Day with inspirational stories that encourage honest conversations about the pressures working women are under during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shining a light on some of the most powerful stories that came through our community – adding them to case studies, reference material & LinkedIn News.
All while we used our platform for good & demonstrated our active commitment to the message by offering free LinkedIn learning courses, seminars & toolkits supported the campaign, showing how LinkedIn enables & supports women to step back into their careers, together.
Some of LinkedIn’s highest levels of ‘earned’ conversation ever on the platform around a brand campaign & named in The Drum as one of the best examples of IWD2021 comms.
In fact, female employment in some economies such as France, Spain, and South Korea is now higher than the corresponding number before the pandemic. However, in other countries, female employment is yet to get back to the levels last seen in 2019.
Creative Director: Christine Turner
Head of Planning: Nicky Vita
Creative: Tom Lee
Strategy: Hattie Bottom / Mick Valentine
Account Manager: Ben Wyver / Stephanie Treffers
Head of Production: Ryan O’Kane
Producers: Jasmine Willson