CPB London Imagine International Women's Day Poster #BreakTheBias

IWD campaign by CPB London highlights unconscious gender bias

Research found that children are still affected by gender stereotypes.

CPB London Imagine International Women's Day Poster #BreakTheBias
CPB London: 39% of the 5- to 11-year-olds polled think that women should stay home and 38% agreed that men should go to work

CPB London has worked with research agency Perspectus Global to assess how children are still affected by unconscious gender bias, creating a campaign off the back of its findings.

Running from International Women’s Day (8 March), “Imagine” is a nationwide campaign centring on this year’s theme #BreakTheBias. 

A series of posters invite the public to simply “imagine” the person who assumes a particular job title, including a chief executive officer, a doctor, a nurse and a makeup artist.

The posters ask if they are imagining a man or a woman in the role, highlighting how most people are still affected by unconscious gender bias.

The study, conducted in February, surveyed 1,000 UK-based parents of children aged five to 11 and 1,000 UK-based children in that age group. 

It revealed that 39% of the children polled thought that “mummies should look after babies and do all the housework” with 38% agreeing “daddies should go to work”.

Forty-five per cent believed that nurses are always women, while 22% believed a doctor was likely to be a man.

Sixty per cent of children thought that being a plumber or an electrician was a man’s job and almost half (46%) said that men always make better engineers.

However, the survey also found most agreed that children should grow up to be whatever they want (94%), while 82% believed that boys and girls can be just as good at the same things.

Three in 10 of the parents said they had to explain to their child that men and women can do the same jobs.

In addition, three in 10 parents admitted there had been many times when their child had expressed beliefs that reinforce harmful gender stereotypes.

Official supporters of the “Imagine” campaign include Creative Equals, Goodstuff, Assembly and Open Media. Good Stuff and Assembly are leading the campaign across donated media, including out-of-home, social, display and cinema. 

Helen James, managing director at CPB London, said: “For all the progress made, it’s shocking to see how deeply entrenched views can still be about women’s and men’s roles.

“And when these are views held by our children – our future – that tells us we have so much work yet to do to create a world where your gender makes no difference to what you can achieve.”

CPB London has also created a children’s colouring book, which is available to buy on the agency’s website. Taking a similar approach to the posters, the book asks to “draw what you imagine when you read the headline”.

All of the money raised from the “Imagine” colouring book will be used to fuel a “better, more diverse future” with Beyond Equality and Young Women’s Trust.

James explained: “The idea is that there are no right or wrong drawings – just insight into our assumptions about gender roles. We all have unconscious bias, and the only way to change that is to question, and to get people talking.”

This article was originally posted on Campaign.