The Future of Gender
Thursday 22nd February 2018 – 08.30-09.30
The Fable, 52 Holborn Viaduct, EC1A 2FD
At our next Trajectory Trends Breakfast we explore an issue relevant to everyone: Gender.
This has underlined many of the biggest stories of the last two years, from the election of the admittedly not-feminist Donald Trump to the emergence of sustained sexual abuse in Hollywood, USA Gymnastics and most recently, the now-defunct Presidents’ Club.
The stories are not confined to La La Land or elite establishments; Carrie Gracie, the former BBC China editor who resigned in protest over equal pay, has given evidence to MPs about the gender pay gap at the BBC, with a number of senior male colleagues accepting pay cuts in the weeks following her resignation. This formalised pay gap is the tip of the iceberg, however. Women are more likely to work in informal or precarious employment, and while our time-use report in 2016 showed that in the UK there had been significant strides towards equality in household chores – such as cooking and cleaning – from 1960 to 2016, there remains a long way to go before society is approaching anything close to parity.
The debate around gender and sex will inevitably explore existing inequalities between men and women, with as many as 7 out of 10 women in Spain and almost 70% of women in Japan stating that they were stuggling to achieve gender parity in their country. At the same time, rapid economic and social change have placed pressures on masculine identity as beliefs are challenged in potentially transformative ways. In a society that is already divided economically, socially and politically, discourse around sex and gender has become highly charged.
These debates are underpinned by the question of whether our current, binary, view of gender is outdated. As gender is increasingly understood as a spectrum, different segments of society, including businesses and brands, must adjust to this newly recognised reality. This could mean the decline of gendered products like Action Man or My Little Pony, but it could also mean adjusting creative messaging to audiences that expect it to be more gender neutral.
These issues will impact every consumer and every business, from targeting of products to the gendering of bathrooms; and yet, it could make our lives that much simpler, removing one level of categorisation from our daily lives as gender’s importance recedes toward obscurity.
Do we stand on the brink of the end of Gender? Join our team on February 22nd to find out.
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Our Trends Breakfasts have been running for five years, and each month sees a different topic discussed and debated over coffee and croissants. Taking place on a private floor of a popular city location, an array of figures from different industries hear our thoughts on the chosen topic, which often draws on latest findings from our global attitudes and values survey, Trajectory Global Foresight.
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