PR Edge has launched Rosie, a new division specifically dedicated to addressing issues of gender inequality. The name is inspired by J. Howard Millar’s WWII “We can do it!” poster featuring pop culture icon, ‘Rosie the Riveter’.
“While fictitious, Rosie represents a significant moment in modern history when women were given the chance to demonstrate they have as much potency and commitment as their brothers,” PR Edge managing director, Fee Townshend, said.
“The world has changed quite dramatically since 1940, yet equality still eludes us. Salary pay gap is real. Family violence statistics are staggering. Women don’t have basic rights in many countries. It’s a tragic reality that inequality is rife. It’s something I personally want to see righted in my life time.
“Rosie is just one initiative that will work hard to leverage all our networks to explicitly and implicitly tackle issues of gender inequality.”
Townshend has hired experienced PR strategist, Julia Loughlin (formerly of Wrights, Fenton and PPR) to lead the division.
“Julia and I share very similar values and she possesses an impressive array of skills. She’s a savvy strategist who builds and sustains quality influencer networks,” Townshend said.
“I’m energised by the opportunity to combine my passion for gender equality with my interests in communications and business strategy.
“I have enormous respect for PR Edge and this new division speaks volumes about the agency’s values and the significant impact it aims to make beyond the bottom line. I’m thrilled to play a role in helping bring the vision of Rosie to life,” Loughlin added.
Townshend says the reasons behind sustained gender inequality are complex and will take time to correct, which is why the PR skill-set plays a natural role in achieving the significant and, often, slow-to-move societal shift that must occur.
But Rosie also needs specialist support.
“Our offering will be supported by a network of field experts, strong female influencers and spokespeople, who will provide consulting advice across key feminist issues, such as body image, workplace inequality, family violence and global issues.”
This network includes the specialist skills of clinical psychologists, lobbyists and well-respected feminists, who will be actively involved in campaign strategy planning to ensure work addresses issues in the right way; that campaigns are consistent and supportive of modern feminist thought.
Clinical psychologist, Deborah Newburn, says consulting to the agency enables her to take the important work she does with individuals and share its value on a much larger scale.
“I am really pleased to be able to contribute towards actively preventing the gender-based issues I see women dealing with on a daily basis.
“Media plays a significant role in shaping how young girls and women see themselves and contributes to the development of an idealised image that is unattainable for most. This impacts gender equality as many women struggle to define their roles, strength, and worth in a manner that is not centred on appearance.
“This dedication by the agency is inspired, and I am so looking forward to being a part of helping steer the right kind of approach as they bring these issues to the forefront of public agenda,” Newburn said.
Townshend says the global marketing world is recognising, after decades of sexist advertising, that it has a wrong to right.
“It’s no accident Cannes has introduced the Glass Lion – aimed at rewarding exactly this kind of work. Closer to home the Communications Council has been dealing with how we combat the very real gender inequality in our own industry and, increasingly, brands are realising their female customers want these issues recognised, respected and contextualised. They are very real frustrations that are part of everyday life.”