The World Federation of Advertisers just launched guidance to help brands avoid gender stereotypes in advertising.

According to the WFA, the goal of the guidance, "A guide to progressive gender portrayals in advertising," is to "inspire senior marketers to challenge their own marketing communications with compelling evidence of a business case for unstereotyping ads from some of the words leading brands - as well as implications for inaction."

The guide outlines the benefits of taking a more progressive approach from a political and social perspective, as well as the business benefits for brands, especially in light of the number of purchasing decisions that are made by women.

Some of they key recommendations from the guidance include:

  • Encourage diversity in your teams. "Does my internal team and my partner team at my agencies reflect my target audience?"
  • Track performance. "How am I able to track improvements in gender approach? "
  • Find your purpose. "What does my brand stand for that benefits both men and women?"
  • Think long term. "Where do we want to be in the next three years on gender diversity and proper representation and build an action plan for improvement?"
  • Go beyond marketing. "How can I promote more positive, diverse portrayals of men and women internally and among suppliers?"

{ Said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women: “We know that harmful stereotypes of both women and men have a deep impact on how we see and treat each other. Intentionally changing those images has huge potential to positively transform our culture and bring us closer to true, inclusive equality. UN Women applauds the work of WFA to bring this to life, redefining how the industry shows who people are, not just what they are. This change will help us to collectively realize the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals – to leave no one behind.”