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Diageos Syl Saller talks tackling gender stereotypes

Diageo's Syl Saller talks tackling gender stereotypes

 August 28, 2019

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Diageo Chief Marketing Officer Syl Saller is well-known for making high-profile decisions which have advanced Diageo's diversity and inclusion strategy. In an exclusive interview, Syl talks to Yahoo Finance about how she is helping Diageo to transform marketing and banish outdated stereotypes. She also speaks candidly about her own background and aspirations. It's a truly insightful interview well worth watching. 

Writing a very important letter focusing on gender equality

In the interview, Syl discusses how she wrote a letter to Diageo’s agencies, requesting them to provide their gender split and pay gap data.

“What I wanted to really explore was what are the blocks for agencies having more diversity in senior, creative roles," explains Syl.

“One of the things they said is: We lose talent as women have children and more complicated lives. We lose talent as people are in the sandwich generation and looking after their parents and really need flexible working.”

Reviewing Diageo's global creative work

Syl also discusses how Diageo reviewed its global creative work to see whether and how it needed to change its portrayal of gender in advertising. Diageo drew up a framework for future campaigns in line with this ethos.

“We trained it into 1,200 marketers across the world,” Syl told Yahoo. “There’s no sense in having a framework if you don’t train it into both your marketers and your agencies -  and the work that we’re seeing back from that is moving forward.”

Syl Saller Diageo Chief Marketing Officer

Focusing marketing on what the consumer really needs

Syl also speaks with Yahoo Finance about what the consumer really needs, commenting on the Baileys brand which used to centre its marketing around the idea of 'making women shine'.

“We found [women] don’t need Baileys to make us shine, we can do that for ourselves thank you very much,” Syl comments. The messaging was therefore changed to simply position Baileys as an enjoyable drink.

To watch Syl's full interview with Yahoo Finance, click here.

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