Cannes Lions

#NotDone

140NYC, New Jersey / VERIZON / 2021

Awards:

1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Gender inequality in the tech industry is a prevalent issue. Tech companies have implemented mentorship efforts, but that often puts the responsibility of change on the individual.

As a tech company of influence, Verizon is furthering efforts of gender equality in tech and entertainment by creating initiatives to level the playing field. The first of which is the Future Fund, a $5M commitment to support female talent across entertainment and technology industries.

The Future Fund is encouraging systemic change, but it’s only the beginning; to generate awareness we needed to uncover sources of unconscious bias. More often than not, it starts with the resume. So we set out to target professionals in their natural habitat, LinkedIn.

Our communications objectives were to drive awareness of Verizon’s commitment to gender equality and the launch of the Future Fund. Our work was to drive engagement with highly attuned audiences in the tech sector.

Idea

The first computer code? Written by a woman. The calculations for the first modern GPS? Developed by a woman. History has often overlooked the achievements of women in tech, science, and entertainment. Today, not enough has changed. Women hold just 24% of these jobs.

We started a conversation on the go-to social platform for careers, LinkedIn. In a unique social innovation, we put history’s most inventive women (who are no longer alive) back on the job market, as unexpected influencers. Their roles? To start a dialogue about existing gender bias in the tech and entertainment industries. We taught the most innovative women in tech and entertainment history how to create 21st century content.

As female pioneers who experienced inequality firsthand, these women served as provocative reminders that yesterday’s bias is not just a thing of the past. Until we have more women in tech, history tells us we’re #NotDone.

Strategy

We used primary research that led to the development of the Future Fund programs as well as multiple secondary research sources including Kantar. We also did a deep social platform dive in search of meaningful data that helped ensure our articulation felt authentic and relevant.

Through our research, we found that women hold only 24% of tech jobs. However, we discovered there are 7.3 million employable women in tech fields active on LinkedIn.

The best place to start a conversation about workplace equality was on the go-to career platform, LinkedIn. In a grassroots effort, we targeted tech and entertainment companies, industry thought leaders, and decision-makers. We also targeted resource programs focused on the advancement of women in tech.

Our approach was to spread awareness about the gender gap in tech by utilizing native LinkedIn career profiles in a provocative way: putting historical women of tech back on the job market.

Execution

Implementation - For the first time in LinkedIn’s history, we brought women who are no longer alive back to the job market. We partnered with LinkedIn to make real career profiles for five historical women. We worked with historical estates to obtain permissions for each woman and to bring their personalities to life in a realistic way. We wrote and designed content, tailored to each woman’s likeness, and sent them on a mission to remind the tech industry that gender equality hasn’t come as far as we think.

Timeline

Fall 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. Our campaign ran from Oct. 27 – Nov. 25, 2020.

Placement - If gender bias starts with the resume, there's no better place to tackle the problem than LinkedIn.

Scale - We laid the groundwork for an evergreen effort that can grow over time as we continue Future Fund (ongoing) efforts.

Outcome

We connected with the past to help change the future of tech. For the first time in history, we brought posthumous profiles to life on LinkedIn. With zero paid media, our historical profiles networked with 7M+ LinkedIn users, including tech CEOs and industry thought leaders. We created brand awareness around Verizon’s commitment to gender equality, giving a new, dimensionalized perspective to an age-old problem.

Today, in addition to The Future Fund, Verizon is continuing its efforts with a global initiative called Women’s CoLab, a program designed to help women succeed in an increasingly digital world.

Women’s CoLab will provide best-in-class resources, guidance from industry leaders, and strategies to negotiate unapologetically, challenge the status quo, and break down barriers.

Our vision is to develop a network powered by women, for women, and to call on our partners to

create a community of support that will ultimately shape a more equitable future.

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