For International Womxn’s Day, This Way Up launches a film manifesto to highlight the widening gender pay gap

The film features 38 prominent figures from the design and creative industry, raising awareness of the impact of gender inequality in the workplace – that which has increased as a result of the pandemic.

8 March 2021


Today marks International Womxn’s Day. A time to celebrate and give prominence to equal rights, now has never been a better time to raise awareness of the increasing gender pay gap that’s been widening as an offshoot of the pandemic. In response, Rebecca Rowntree from This Way Up podcast has launched We are Not a Stereotype, a film manifesto featuring 38 prominent womxn from the design and creative industry. Those involved include designer and podcaster Debbie Millman; Pip Jamieson, CEO and founder of The Dots; Havas London’s chief creative officer Vicki Maguire; and Laura Jordan Bambach, president and chief creative offer at Grey London and co-founder of SheSays.

Each has contributed to a minute-long film that shows each of the womxn at home, at their desks or with their children, signalling to the familiar Zoom frame and tone of working during the pandemic. Meanwhile, actor Roisin O’Mahony recites the campaign manifesto as a voiceover to the film, stating: “Let’s be seen, let’s be heard, so we can be a force to be reckoned with.”

The film is inspired by the recent articles published in The Guardian that have revealed how Covid-19 is widening the UK gender pay gap, which has in turn seen an increase in employers excluding female talent from pay rises and promotions. The film also follows other key findings, including the fact that womxn in their mid-30s may never know equal pay in their working lives; working mothers are 47% more likely to lose their jobs during the pandemic; and working mothers are more likely to be furloughed, with their hours cut back by 50% or more.

As such, We are Not a Stereotype is here to bring awareness to these issues and challenges faced by womxn, all the while highlighting the impact of gender inequality in the workplace. Other womxn are encouraged to share their own stories – those that navigate around topics of discrimination in the workplace – and are invited to use a specially designed Instagram filter that replicates the aesthetic of the film. Those who’d like to get involved can do so at the podcast’s Instagram page. Rebecca also pledges to feature 100 leading creative womxn on her This Way Up podcast via Instagram Stories before next year’s International Womxn’s Day.

“Listening to my podcast guests and the womxn at events I was running throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, it was clear how extremely tough this year has been on womxn,” says Rebecca in the announcement. “As a ‘lockdown baby’ mum myself, contemplating going back to work and my daughter’s future, I couldn’t sit idly by. I wrote this manifesto to create a new conversation around the gender pay gap, to dismantle damaging stereotypes and make womxn’s careers more visible in the public eye. This is only the beginning and I hope to empower many womxn in the year to come by giving them a platform to share their stories through This Way Up.”

This Way Up is a podcast and event platform dedicated to inspiring womxn through a series of honest stories on career journeys, told by female leaders from across the globe. It’s also been marked as number five in the iTunes careers podcast UK ranking, and named Top 30 Events in London by The Dots.

For We are Not a Stereotype, the podcast’s founder Rebecca has worked alongside producer Alicia Cordell, senior graphic designer Jennifer Hayashi, graphic designer Zoe Moncaster, V.O artist Roisin O’Mahoney, PR and communications consultant Antonia Collins and sound engineer Matt Williams. More information about the film can be found here.

GalleryThis Way Up: We are Not a Stereotype campaign (Copyright © This Way Up, 2021)

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About the Author

Ayla Angelos

Ayla is a London-based freelance writer, editor and consultant specialising in art, photography, design and culture. After joining It’s Nice That in 2017 as editorial assistant, she was interim online editor in 2022/2023 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. She has written for i-D, Dazed, AnOther, WePresent, Port, Elephant and more, and she is also the managing editor of design magazine Anima. 

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