In just the last few days, I’ve seen a whirlwind of game-changing examples towards the advancing of gender equality.
From a beer company. And from Uber.
Seriously. Interesting, right?
Addressing gender inequality in both developed (U.S.) and developing economies is critical—to economic growth, promoting peace, alleviating poverty and to all of us generally leading healthier and happier lives.
I don’t think I need to rehash all the specifics towards convincing you.
What I do think bears repeating is that gender equality is good for all of us. Yes, it’s good for women. It’s also good for men. And one sex alone can’t fix the problem. We all need to commit to work towards it.
That’s why Sheryl Sandberg’s latest campaign to LeanInTogether is brilliant. It even notes that men who share more equitably in household and parenting duties have more sex.
That marketing certainly appeals more than “it is the right thing to do.”
But back to beer and Uber.
In the last 12 hours, I’ve seen two campaigns in which a well-known for-profit company has joined forces with a non-profit towards the support and advancing of women.
Last night might have been the first time I’ve ever seen a network television commercial for Stella Artois. The beer company has partnered with Water.org to launch “Buy a Lady a Drink,” a campaign to help raise awareness of the global water crisis. So here is tough-guy Jason Bourne (also known as Water.org co-founder Matt Damon) reminding us how our human need for this basic and scarce resource rests mostly on the shoulders of women.
“Around the world, women spend a combined 200 million hours collecting water every day for their families. That’s 200 million hours they could spend caring for their families, generating income and making other contributions to their communities.”
Budweiser needs to up their game at next year’s Super Bowl.
Today, I saw that Uber announced a partnership with UN Women, the organization dedicated to gender equality. Uber wants to create one million job opportunities for women around the world via the Uber platform by 2020. Uber currently operates in 55 countries.
Uber has come under attack in the press for safety concerns, so this is obviously a savvy PR move. But it seems more than lip-service. In collaboration with UN Women, harnessing the ideas of women drivers will be at the core of evolving their safety measures.
Uber has proven its ability to address a public problem (public transportation in my home city of San Francisco is less than stellar, so let’s just say that I am an Uber fan) with a private solution. Their disruption has made competitors (notably the taxi industry) adjust. My hope is that their leadership in improving safety standards and job creation will also have spillover effects.
Because earning a reasonable and equal living on your own terms is arguably the most important component of gender equality.
For all of us.