NEW YORK (April 9, 2021) – The Unstereotype Alliance today announced that Mars, Incorporated has elevated its membership to Vice Chair status. Mars, which joined the Unstereotype Alliance as a founding signatory at the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2017, will be represented on the Alliance’s leadership team by Fiona Dawson, Global President of Mars Food, Multisales and Global Customers. Convened by UN Women, the Unstereotype Alliance is a thought and action platform that seeks to eradicate harmful stereotypes from advertising and media.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, commented: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Fiona Dawson to represent Mars as the fourth Vice Chair of the Unstereotype Alliance, bringing this group to gender parity. Mars has been an ally for gender equality and a longstanding member of the Alliance. This is the leadership team that helps to set the vision for our members. As captains of industry, they are our champions for change towards a world free of stereotyped advertising.”
Fiona Dawson, Global President of Mars Food, Multisales and Global Customers, commented: “Mars believes the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. We are committed to ensuring the marketing of Mars brands elevates the voices of women from all intersections – including race, age, sexuality, religion and ability – to help create a world where all women can thrive. Through our advertising we want to celebrate the diversity of the audiences who enjoy them which is why we are incredibly proud to be a part of the Unstereotype Alliance since its founding. We’re looking forward to building on the work we have been doing by deepening our partnership with the Alliance and working with other members to change gender perceptions and drive progress towards gender equality.”
The appointment of Mars as Vice Chair is a recognition of the company’s strong allyship and advocacy on behalf of the Alliance since its founding, as well as the actions they have taken as an organization to champion gender equality. Through its Full Potential platform for action on gender equity, the family-owned business aims to empower women and close the gender gap in places of work, the communities where its ingredients are sourced, and in the ways its advertising is created.
In its workplace, the company has committed to gender-balanced leadership teams, equal pay across the global organization, and has signed the Empower Pledge to support women’s advancement in leadership positions across G20 countries and UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.
Mars is also focusing on more inclusion and diversity in its advertising, to ensure better representation. Recent examples include:
- In China, DOVE® Chocolate crowdsourced talented women for all the key creative roles in the production of its “Put Pleasure First” short film, from director to camera to sound, lighting and more.
- In the U.K., MALTESERS® is shining a light on the real spectrum of emotions mums experience to promote maternal mental health.
- The recent evolution of BEN’S ORIGINAL™ and its commitment to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table.
- Mars also partners with the Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media to audit the representation of characters across its brand advertising annually.
Earlier this year Mars launched #HereToBeHeard, a new crowdsourcing initiative which aims to elevate the voices of women everywhere to help shape a more inclusive society where women can reach their full potential. The submissions received at beheard.mars.com will be shared with the world in a study by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School this summer. They will inform the action plans of Mars’ Full Potential platform, including policies Mars can implement and advocate for in its commitment to unlock opportunities for women.
Mars joins the executive leadership body of the Unstereotype Alliance as a Vice-Chair alongside IPG, Safaricom, Unilever and UN Women. Directing the strategy of the Alliance towards its mandate of driving social change through unstereotyped advertising, the Vice Chairs lead and oversee its operations on behalf of the general membership. For Mars, Fiona Dawson will be supported by Michele (Mitch) Oliver and Dale Green as Deputy Vice Chairs.
At a time of rapid growth and expansion, the Unstereotype Alliance has 184 members worldwide, with national chapters in nine countries. In recent months multinational companies to confirm global membership include Bayer Consumer Health, H&M Group, Mastercard, Mondelez International and Snap Inc., while Oxford University’s Saïd Business School and WARC joined as global allies. Following last month’s launch of a national chapter in Kenya, the Alliance plans to launch a total 15 chapters across five continents by year end, doubling its global footprint.
About Mars, Incorporated
For more than a century, Mars, Incorporated has been driven by the belief that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. This idea is at the center of who we have always been as a global, family-owned business. Today, Mars is transforming, innovating and evolving in ways that affirm our commitment to making a positive impact on the world around us. Across our diverse and expanding portfolio of confectionery, food, and petcare products and services, we employ 133,000 dedicated Associates who are all moving in the same direction: forward. With $40 billion in annual sales, we produce some of the world’s best-loved brands including DOVE®, EXTRA®, M&M’s®, MILKY WAY®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, ORBIT®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, SKITTLES®, BEN’S ORIGINAL™, WHISKAS®, COCOAVIA®, and 5™; and take care of half of the world’s pets through our pet health services AniCura, Banfield Pet Hospitals™, BluePearl®, Linnaeus, Pet Partners™, and VCA™. We know we can only be truly successful if our partners and the communities in which we operate prosper as well. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire our Associates to take action every day to help create a world tomorrow in which the planet, its people and pets can thrive. For more information about Mars, please visit www.mars.com
About the Unstereotype Alliance
Since its launch in 2017, the Unstereotype Alliance has built momentum behind notable achievements such as 'unstereotyped' judging criteria as part of industry award programmes including Cannes Lions. The Unstereotype Alliance seeks to eradicate harmful stereotypes from advertising and media to help create a more equal world. Convened by UN Women, the United Nations entity for Gender Equality, the Alliance collectively acts to empower people in all their diversity (gender, race, class, age, ability, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, language, education, etc.) by using advertising as a force for good to drive positive change all over the world.