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10,319 Voices to Shape a More Inclusive Society for All Women

In early 2021, we asked the world a question: “What needs to change so more women can reach their full potential?”

A Powerful Instrument for Change

10,319 women from 88 countries issued a call for systemic change. We’re listening.

In the world we want tomorrow, society is inclusive, and women have the opportunity to reach their full potential. That’s why we launched our #HereToBeHeard global listening study to amplify the voices of women across various intersections—including race, age, sexuality, religion, disability and more—in a meaningful dialogue on how to shape a more inclusive world.

Women shared their deeply personal stories, calling for systemic change they want to see from their employers, governments, communities, and men to break down the barriers they face.

​​​​University of Oxford, Said Business School, BSR

In partnership with BSR, University of Oxford Saïd Business School’s Future of Marketing Initiative, and in collaboration from the Unstereotype Alliance convened by UN Women, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media, and CARE, we analyzed the women’s voices and the key themes that surfaced.

The result is a timely report that challenges society at large to listen, learn and do more to help deliver gender equality.

Download the #HereToBeHeard Report



Hear what women had to say 

Click on one of the buttons below to hear directly from some of the women who took part in this study.
You’ll hear what they think needs to change so women can reach their full potential.

What needs to change for women to reach their full potential? 

Eight key themes emerged from our study, which have informed actions that we, as businesses, can take to help break down the barriers women face to unlock their full potential.

End to Gender Stereotypes

An End to Discrimination and Harmful Gender Stereotypes 

80% of women demanded an end to discrimination and harmful gender stereotyping.


As advertisers, we have an opportunity to help create a more equal world. One way to do that is by producing “unstereotyped” marketing content that portrays all individuals as authentic, multidimensional, and empowered. 

Offer Equal Career Opportunities

Equal Career Opportunities 


79% of women spoke passionately about the need for equal career opportunities.


We need to remove gender bias and discrimination in recruitment, performance review, and promotion processes. 

More Women with Power

More Women in Power 


65% of women insisted on more women in power, making decisions.


Research shows companies with more women board members, more women in senior leadership roles and gender-balanced teams perform better. We should work toward gender-balanced leadership teams by setting time-bound measurable goals to increase/advance the representation of women at all levels of leadership, and establish sponsorship and training programs for women from diverse backgrounds.


Support Parents

Support as Parents

30% of women asked for support as parents—affordable childcare, more parental leave, and reversing the stay-at-home stereotype.


For true equality, parents need support. We should encourage businesses to support all new parents with parental leave policies and to equip managers with training and resources to empower employees to use their parental leave. We also need to establish adequate off-/on-boarding plans for parents and allow flexibility for parents when they return from leave.

Enable Work Life Balance

Greater Work/Life Balance

25% of women shared a need for greater work/life balance.


We can help create change by offering flexible work, embracing more diverse working styles, and ensuring performance reviews are tailored to recognize and advance workers who take advantage of flexible work options.

Equal Education for All

Gender-Equal Learning

24% of women called for gender-equal learning and emphasized the importance of education free from stereotypes.


Invest in strategic philanthropy in STEM and other historically male-dominated fields to increase engagement of young girls and youth within these fields. Additionally, brands should consider how stereotypes are present in marketing, and advertising should work to tackle harmful gender stereotypes about the role of women in society.


Champion Women's Wellbeing

Mental and Physical Wellbeing


19% called for better access to healthcare services for both mental and physical wellbeing.


We need to provide equitable benefits packages to support women’s physical and mental health needs, and recognize that women may need targeted support at different life stages.

Protection Against Violence & Harassment

An End to Gender-Based Harassment and Violence

15% of women called for an end to gender-based harassment and violence. 


Businesses should adopt a higher standard of prevention, protection and redress through policies that keep employees safe from harassment and violence, including gender-based violence.



At Mars, we’re listening and acting