Advertising and clothing featuring ‘empowering’ messaging for women, are all the rage. And for us as consumers, it feels just as good to wear a t-shirt emblazoned with a powerful mantra as it is to watch a commercial that champions equality. I even participated in a positive example of femvertizing myself recently for the brand Lingua Franca. But is any of this moving the needle for women or is it just surface noise, a balm that keeps us away from the real issues?
For me, what's more important is not the feel good marketing but that these companies walk the talk. Lingua Franca is run by a woman, employs mostly women, and a percentage of all sales go to charity. I'm not saying any brand has to fit that criteria but I do expect fair female representation among its ranks.
So the next time you're tempted to share that viral 'girl power' ad or buy the 'girl boss' t-shirt, take a closer look at the company doing the selling. What's the percentage of women in their workforce? How many are in senior management? How diverse is their board? Do they have good parental leave policies? Women drive 80% of all consumer purchasing and we have tremendous power to effect change by using our social influence and spending power wisely.