As COVID-19 surged across the world, women were paying a higher price. They were twice as likely to lose their jobs in the pandemic. At home, they were putting in three times more work than men — on domestic tasks and care. With lockdowns, domestic violence against women was spiking. By Q3 2020, estimates were showing that the pandemic had already set back progress for girls and women by a generation.
Against this backdrop, our overall goal was to bring together advocates, activists, leaders, the private sector, and people in every corner of the world to create a surge of support for girls’ and women’s equality on International Women’s Day and in the weeks leading up to it. We wanted to help people understand just how deeply and disproportionately girls and women were being affected during the pandemic. We wanted them to hear the stories of the advocates and activists tirelessly pushing for full gender equality, despite a global public health emergency. And we wanted to give audiences an opportunity to raise their hands and voices in support of girls and women, kickstarting momentum for a new era of gender equality action.
The campaign was built on a sobering fact: Despite some progress, there is no place or part of life where a girl or woman has the equal rights or opportunities as a boy or man. COVID-19 made it worse.
Our strategy had three pillars: 1. leverage our partners' networks and, from those networks, galvanize as large a movement of fired-up gender equality advocates as possible; 2. help audiences within the movement understand this urgent crisis as their fight, one where they could help make a difference; and 3. underline the global nature of the crisis with a campaign reaching every corner of the world with its simple message: We won’t stop until girls and women and #EqualEverywhere.
Putting women’s and girls’ voices — from grassroots champions to CEOs — at the heart of our campaign was central to our strategy.
Partners included well-known corporate brands with large customer and employee networks, and nonprofits already addressing gender equality. We saw these networks as sources of inspiring stories and active participants who could stand with us and pledge to take action.
Working with partners, we crowdsourced stories of gender equality champions. From a teenager fighting period poverty in Pennsylvania to a Kenyan scientist encouraging girls in her hometown to pursue STEM, we gave their voices a platform to inspire.
To stand out in a competitive digital landscape, we made our campaign visually attractive, pithy and engaging. Stunning campaign video and appealing graphic design paired with compelling, thought-provoking copy inspired our audiences and our partners’ to join the #EqualEverywhere movement.
We created a hub at equaleverywhere.org to share gender champions’ inspiring stories and important data on the extent and urgency of the crisis; and we repackaged stories for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Our simplest call to action was to read and share the stories with the campaign’s hashtag, #EqualEverywhere.
Our most intentional call-to-action was to take the #EqualEverywhere Pledge for gender equality, and gave audiences the opportunity to commit to taking action themselves — at home, school, work, or at the voting booth. We created a fast-loading form to collect pledge entries and built it to work on any device and browser -- being sure to leave no one behind in the #EqualEverywhere movement.
We created a toolkit to make it easy for partners to encourage their customers, employees, and other stakeholders to take the pledge and share content. The toolkit gave partners’ marketing teams easy access to an asset library, including customizable graphics so that partners’ audiences felt a sense of connection, brand affinity, when they saw #EqualEverywhere content. We brought the stories, voices, creative, and calls to action together in an International Women’s Day event, “#EqualEverywhere: Champions for Change”. From the former Prime Minister of Australia to the President of Crocs, Inc. to a teenaged gender equality advocate, the virtual conversation and celebration of girls and women was a surge moment of the campaign. It also provided future “evergreen” content, to maintain EqualEverywhere momentum even after the campaign officially ended.
The campaign lasted just over a month. In that time, we surpassed our goals, reaching 186 million users on social media, on a target of 14 million. On equaleverywhere.org, we reached users from 195 countries, succeeding in reaching a global audience with #EqualEverywhere. Almost 5,000 people took the #EqualEverywhere pledge.
Of our website visitors, 63% was direct traffic — either users typing “equaleverywhere.org” into a browser or coming to the site for organic search. For an annual one-month campaign in its second year, we counted this as a win, knowing that #EqualEverywhere was showing up on the right search engine results pages but also achieving strong brand recall.
Across social media platforms, we achieved an average engagement rate of 2.6%. We far exceeded the average engagement rate for non-profits on every social platform, based on Rival IQ’s 2021 data, which shows the average engagement rates as 0.31% for Twitter, 0.05% for Facebook, and 1.41% for Instagram.
Also of note, across social platforms, we engaged 46% users who identify as male and 53% who identify as female. #EqualEverywhere turned out not just to be a campaign for girls and women but also for boys and men — essential allies in
Our top stories on equaleverywhere.org showcased the diversity of voices and stories: from a Verizon C-suite executive mentoring women in the workplace to a reproductive health advocate championing better experiences for Black mothers and babies.
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