Gender stereotyping laid bare by children's drawings in charity campaign

The extent of gender stereotyping among primary school children, with more dangerous careers assumed to be carried out by men, is laid bare in a charity's new ad campaign.

The ad, for the Inspiring the Future charity, was created pro-bono by MullenLowe London to raise awareness of how much needs to be done to tackle gender prejudice.

The two-minute online film, filmed at Whitstable Junior School in Kent, shows three women asking 20 children aged between five and seven to draw a firefighter, a surgeon and a fighter pilot. 

Out of 66 pictures drawn, only five depicted a woman in those roles. The children are then asked if they would like to meet real-life versions of the drawings.

The three women who surveyed the children then leave the classroom and return in their uniforms, revealing themselves to be a London Fire Brigade firefighter, an NHS surgeon, and an active RAF pilot.

The spot, called "redraw the balance", was created by Katrina Encanto and Edgar Galang at MullenLowe. It was directed by Matt Huntley through Burger.

Launched exactly one week after International Women’s Day, the ad urges people to share the film with friends and colleagues. It will be supported by three more films which give an insight into the three women’s experiences in doing what many perceive to be a man’s job.

Richard Denney, the executive creative director at MullenLowe London, said: "It’s our responsibility as working professionals, as well as educators, to encourage and inspire young minds that the majority of jobs and roles today are available for women, and not just men. These young minds are our future."

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