Safaricom joins UN initiative to fight harmful gender stereotypes in advertising

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Safaricom has announced that it has joined the highest governing body of the Unstereotype Alliance chaired by Phumzile Mlambo – Ngcuka, the UN Women Executive Director.

The Alliance is aimed at identifying, challenging and addressing stereotypes that exist in advertising and marketing. It currently has Mr. Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever, Ms. Fiona Carter, Chief Brand Officer, AT&T and Mr. Michael Roth, Chief Executive Officer, IPG. Sylvia Mulinge, the Chief Customer Officer of Safaricom will join the Council as the Vice Chair.

“We are delighted as a company to be part of a global organization that seeks to eradicate harmful gender-based stereotypes in all media and advertising content. We believe that through concerted efforts we will be able to address issues of gender bias through promotion of equal opportunities for all,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom.

Safaricom is the first African organization that has been invited to join the Leadership Council of the Unstereotype Alliance and will join other global brands such as Facebook, Alibaba Group, Johnsons & Johnsons, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Diageo among others.

Safaricom was unanimously voted to join the Alliance by various representative organisations such as Unilever, IPG, UN Women and AT&T. The Leadership Council’s immediate priorities include international expansion, measurement and research as well as inspiring action from the general public.

“We are extremely enthused to have Safaricom joining the Unstereotype Alliance. This will benefit the Alliance greatly by having a strong global south partner who can spearhead the advocacy to like-minded global and African players. Safaricom has demonstrable real-life results behind a financially inclusive business model that has lifted millions from poverty through its pioneering telecoms and mobile money innovations.” said Hon. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka , Executive Director UN Women and Under-Secretary-General United Nations.

As a member of the alliance, Safaricom is expected to champion elimination of gender bias and harmful gender stereotypes from advertising and marketing within the business and globally.

As part of the benefits to being part of the Alliance, Safaricom will have the opportunity to showcase its sustainable business profile on a global platform, access business networks to connect and collaborate with organizations from across the globe. It will also showcase its inclusivity agenda at UN hosted events globally and also access curated research and published best practices.

The Unstereotype Alliance is an initiative by the UN Women that brings partners together and seeks to collectively use the advertising industry as a force for good to drive positive change all over the world. The Alliance’s mission is to eliminate gender-based stereotypes in advertising and the media content globally. The Alliance contributes to empowering women in all their diversity (race, class, age, ability, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, language, education, etc.) and addressing harmful masculinities to help create a gender equal world.

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