New Delhi: Mars, Incorporated today launched the India extension of its #HereToBeHeard campaign. In 2021, Mars asked 10,000 women in 88 countries across intersections – race, age, sexuality, employment status, disability and more – one question: What needs to change so that more women can reach their full potential? The respondents, including 250 from India, called for systematic change from employers, colleagues, government, communities and men to break the patriarchal barriers in their path to growth and success.
Mars plans to expand this research in India by reaching out to women from different walks of life and taking in consideration all intersections of society: age, occupation, caste, cultural backgrounds and more who will be asked the same question. LeadCap Ventures, a leading global research, advisory, & consulting firm would be helping in conducting the research.
Kalpesh Parmar, Country General Manager, Mars Wrigley, India, said, “For generations, women have fulfilled many roles to the exclusion of what they stand for as individuals. Education and awareness have shifted that mindset, but deep-rooted ideologies persist even in evolved societies. Even today, women, irrespective of their backgrounds and upbringing, face bias and discrimination. It is necessary to voice women’s opinions and advocate their desire for a better, more inclusive society. We plan to do that by extending our #HereToBeHeard campaign in India. Mars believes that ‘The world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today’ and this includes advocating for an inclusive society. We invite women to respond to the survey so we can amplify it to help organizations, government bodies, communities and people understand what changes the women of India are seeking. The responses will inform the concrete actions Mars will undertake – within its value chain and in the broader society – to close the gender opportunity gap.”
Mitch Oliver, Global Purpose Vice President, Mars, said, “At Mars, the world we want tomorrow is one that is inclusive. We know that, for the world to make progress socially, culturally and economically, it is essential that women’s voices and actions are heard and can contribute equally. However, as World Economic Forum, it will still take 136 years for women to have equal rights. #HereToBeHeard was launched to accelerate that timeframe by amplifying the voices of all women from around the world, asking them one question “What will it take for women to reach their full potential?”. I’m very excited to extend this campaign to women in India. We need to hear from them to help Mars Incorporated, our peers and society at large accelerate the journey to gender equality. I urge women to share their voices through this campaign so together we can advance gender equality and create a world where society is inclusive.”
The research would also be amplified through social media influencers to increase reach and secure large numbers of responses from women across cities. To reach a wider range of audience, celebrated actor and social media influencer, Dolly Singh joins Mars on board. Sharing her excitement, she said, “I’m so happy to be a part of the #HereToBeHeard campaign. It is great working with a brand that is working towards women empowerment and striving to make a positive change.”
Currently, women make up 49.5% of the world’s population and could contribute $28 trillion to the global GDP if their full potential was realised, and yet so often their voices go unheard. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, the United Nations estimated that it would take more than a century to close the gender opportunity gap. Now, the pandemic has set progress for gender equality back by a further 25 years. Its impact has been particularly devastating for women in minority groups who for long have been overlooked in the conversation.
In the initial phase of #HeretoBeHeard, women’s opinions will be collected over three months after which the submissions will be analysed by LeadCap Research. The results will be shared widely in a report and will inform the action plans and policies of MARS as part of its advocacy and commitment to unlock opportunities for women.