Wake Up Call by Katie Couric Media

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

It’s International Women’s Day, a time to celebrate the remarkable social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world. But today’s also about raising awareness around the progress that still needs to be made, especially when it comes to women’s representation in advertising, film, and TV.

Though we’ve made serious strides in the way women are depicted on screen, female stereotypes like the femme fatale or the pushy corporate climber still very much exist. So it’s probably no surprise that just 25% of women believe they’re portrayed accurately in the media. Enter SeeHer — I’m a board advisor for this meaningful organization that fights for more equitable gender representation in the public sphere, and we’re taking a more holistic approach to representing women as part of the #NotDoneYet campaign.

We’re calling for content creators to take an intersectional approach to “overlapping points of identity,” including gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, age, body type, disability, religion, and socioeconomic status. “We do not think that we are successful until all women see themselves authentically represented,” says co-founder Patty Kerr.

While Kerr remains hopeful, she said creating a more “authentic” portrayal of women doesn’t come without its challenges. In an interview, she described working with an automotive brand on a commercial that almost got it right: “A dad was driving the children back to the house, and it seemed they had made so much progress, with the father figure being the one in the minivan — and then his wife comes outside holding a pie.” Thankfully, the executives took her team’s advice, and the scene was ultimately edited out — but Kerr adds that change shouldn’t be driven by shame.

“If you do these ads correctly and portray women accurately, it’s better for your brand reputation,” she says. “It’s better for purchase intent.”