The #HereToBeHeard initiative implemented by Mars and involving the stories of 10,319 women from 88 countries showed that around the world women face longstanding and new barriers to gender equality.

Within the study, the female respondents most frequently mentioned harmful stereotypes based on which they are still perceived as weaker than and inferior to men. Similarly, women also strongly feel that there is inequality in the area of their career paths.

Everyone – individuals, government authorities, communities and companies – can take specific steps toward reducing inequality.

According to the top five themes in #HereToBeHeard initiative, more decision-making power and, mainly, the breaking down of stereotypes about the role of women in employment and in private life are the steps that women consider to be the most important on the path to gender equality. This is one of the finding of Mars global #HereToBeHeard study, which involved more than 10,000 women from 88 countries, regardless of race, age, religion, health condition or sexuality. The study was conducted at a time when the disparities between women and men have become even greater due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the World Economic Forum, it would now take another 136 years to achieve equality between men and women, which is an increase of more than one-third in comparison with the period before the pandemic.


Preconceptions that mainly women should be responsible for childcare, domestic violence and a lack of flexible work schedules are only a few of the barriers that prevent women from fulfilling their potential. The #HereToBeHeard study, by means of which Mars gave women a voice in order to describe in their own words what needs to be done to achieve an environment in which everyone is equal regardless of gender, revealed a total of eight key areas.


The women most frequently stated that it is necessary to put and end to systemic discrimination and harmful gender stereotypes that label them as weaker and inferior in comparison with men. This was the response that 80% of the women gave to the question: What needs to be changed so that more women can reach their full potential? Women perceive inequality in the area of careers – in many countries they get lower remuneration for the same work, unfair salaries and the glass-ceiling phenomenon, which do not allow them to get to the highest professional positions, unlike men.


“The #HereToBeHeard study clearly shows that there are still obstacles for women to reach their full potential. Mars in Central Europe is taking an active approach to provide equal career opportunities to men and women. We’re proud that 4 out of 9 Central Europe Leadership Team members are women, what is a result of creating longterm such a working environment where everyone can thrive regardless of gender,” says Zuzana Losakova, Corporate Affairs Director Mars Central Europe.


Everyone can contribute to improvement


The #HereToBeHeard study further indicated extensive systemic changes at the level of employers, governments and communities, as well as a shift in men’s attitudes, are necessary in order to eliminate inequality between men and women. According to 71% of the respondents, men play a key role, as they are perceived by some women as one of the key barriers to fully exploiting their potential; however, many women also consider men to be important allies in the effort to achieve gender equality.


Among the recommendations for mitigating inequality, the study mentions, for example, creation of a culture in which women can confidently be themselves instead of having to imitate men on the path to career success. Flexible work schedules, equal maternity and parental leave provided by the state to both genders and the prevention and elimination of gender-motivated violence and coercion should also be a matter of course. “Women at Mars can achieve their career ambitions while not compromising their roles as mothers or partners. I am very grateful for the flexible working arrangements which allowed me to better juggle my work and personal life”. says Sophie Gaspard, supply chain Director for Central Europe at Mars.


Mars is now using the findings of the #HereToBeHeard study, which also includes the voices of 1,268 of the Mars associates, to formulate and implement new approaches and measures within the Full Potential platform. The platform was established in 2020 with the purpose of enhancing gender equality not only in the workplace, but also in the communities and markets where the company operates.


However, truly everyone can help promote gender equality. It does not matter whether it is an individual, a community, a government body or a company. You can find details on how you can do more at www.mars.com/heretobeheard. Together, we can ensure that more women reach their full potential.




ABOUT #HERETOBEHEARD

#HereToBeHeard is a global campaign from Mars, Incorporated which drives change on gender inequality, in support of Goal Five of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It is part of Full Potential, the Mars platform for action on gender which aims to empower women and close the gender gap in the places we work, the communities where we source our ingredients and in the way we create our advertising. For more information on the #HereToBeHeard report by BSR and an update on the Mars Full Potential platform please visit mars.com/heretobeheard


All women who responded to the #HereToBeHeard study gave permission to use their written and recorded responses.


Samsung launched a campaign to promote the new foldables Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip3 5G. Building on the success of the cooperation with local designer Anna Daubner we supported a new collection created on the smartphones by three iconic Hungarian design labels, Kata Szegedi, Anna Amélie and VYF. The artists used technology to show their creativity and express the versatility of the devices through the pieces of the collection.

The campaign included a comprehensive social side with activities from all three designers and a PR side with cooperation with some of the biggest lifestyle and fashion magazines of Hungary. The collection was introduced in an online live event where it was announced proceeds will be donated to Retextil Foundation providing jobs to disabled people in the textile industry.

Fjällräven presented latest Autumn-Winter collection to journalists and influencers at Normafa Event Centre, a location close to the nature and to the highest point of Budapest.

At the press event, which was planned and organised by FLOW PR and included a fashion show, participants had the opportunity to try on the new garments.

Wool is at the heart of the new collection, therefore a presentation by a textile expert from the Metropolitan University Budapest was part of the programme.

Fjällräven has launched a new platform called Kånken Me to offer Kånken fans the opportunity to be creative and personalize their very own Kånken even more, to reflect their colourful personality, match it with their favourite jacket, or just improvise. With 14 colour choices and 15 customizable parts the online configurator offers over 100.000 billion of possible combinations making it almost impossible to meet someone else with the same Kånken. With a shareable link Kånken Me can even be co-created with friends. The new platform was presented to guests on a giant touch screen, who were able to create their own colour schemes.

Natural materials have always been the preferred choice for Fjällräven when developing products. Wool, one of the oldest natural materials, is also one of the most functional. A sophisticated natural fibre, it is arguably one of nature’s most technical materials, outperforming many “high-tech” manmade fibres.

Fjällräven Head of Innovation Erik Blomberg explains: “The properties of wool suit the different needs we nor mally have for making materials that are used outdoors. Those needs are often keeping the user dry, warm, and comfortable. Wool is excellent at satisfying all of those needs”. Wool is excellent at insulating in cold and wet condi tions for two reasons. First, the fibres and yarn are bulky, which traps air. The second is that wool is hydrophobic on its surface, which means that water does not stick to it.

A tightly-woven wool also sheds water to some degree. Furthermore, it can collect water as vapour inside, rather than on its surface like a synthetic. When it is used as mid layer, the wool acts as a buffer, storing some of the moist air and keeping it away from the user. Blomberg also adds that, “A bonus feature is that since wool stores moisture inside the fibre, away from air, there is no opportunity for bacteria to grow. Wool garments are therefore odour resistant without the need of added chemicals".