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Pressing for progress: A comparison between International Women's Day 2017 and 2018

March 8th marked International Women’s Day and this year it felt bigger than ever. People around the world were asked to pledge that they would #pressforprogress. In the office, we recognised the day by celebrating the amazing achievements of the women at Audiense.

We decided to compare the reports around the International Women's Day conversation in 2017 and 2018. We chose this report to grab the attention of like-minded people, uncover some truths and help us put gender equality at the forefront of our business as well as the tech industry. We monitored a number of hashtags and keywords from the day to begin to understand the people participating in this conversation.

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The first report I reviewed was the 2018 report and the results surprised me. I was expecting something similar to the #metoo report we ran last year, where people from all political sides participated in the conversation. We concluded that irrespective of religion, country or political opinion, violence against with women was universal.

Take a look at the distribution graphs for the report below about IWD 2018. Contrary to what I believed, this conversation was dominated predominantly a segment I defined as ‘liberals’.

Audiense - IWD 2018 - Full Audience

After concluding that the conversation was dominated by one group of people, I wanted to understand if this was similar to last year. I pulled up the report on the conversation from IWD 2017 and analysed how the audience had evolved over the past year. The 2017 report showed a more segmented community from; human rights activists, business, music fans, sports fans. While there is a specific business segment, the audience as a whole showed an affinity for business and were influenced by the likes of Richard Branson and Bill Gates.

Audiense - IWD 2017 - Full Audience

After briefly analysing both reports individually, I compared the full audience of 2017 to 2018. The first thing I noticed was that since 2017 more men had joined the conversation. This is amazing! While 37% of men participated in 2017, we can see that this rose by 3% in 2018. With more men voicing their support for gender equality, we are able to start challenging behaviours that dominate, objectify and violate women.

Audiense - IWD 2017 vs 2018 - Gender

Still, the biggest difference I noticed between this year and last year was between the interests of these audiences. While last year‘s audience tended to be young professionals in business; this year’s conversation was increasingly global and these people tended to be more interested in music and films. Perhaps, this difference is a reflection of a new narrative, led by Hollywood around #metoo and #timesup? With A-listers from the entertainment industry influencing the conversation around gender equality, we have seen this topic catapulted into the mainstream.

Unsurprisingly, while Linkedin was the favourite network for the professionals of 2017 to share their content on, Twitter was the most popular in 2018. Again, this reflects the recent ‘conversation’ becoming more inclusive and not limited to professionals.

Whilst on the surface we can point to the change in the type of conversation and the interests of the people participating in International Women's Day. I wondered at the core, are these people the same? Using our personality insights, powered by IBM Watson, It turns out, the personality between 2017 and 2018 is in fact very similar. Both groups are authority-challenging and prefer to challenge authority and traditional values to help bring about positive changes - which is what one might expect from an audience that is pushing for gender equality.

By comparing the people participating in the conversation from 2017 and 2018 we are able to demonstrate how the story has changed and has attracted a new audience. While in 2017 gender equality was predominately talked about in the context of business, we can show that the conversation has taken a new narrative as influencers from the entertainment industry have forced the conversation into the popular media.

Although this was a short report, I hope you found the conclusions interesting. Let us know what you think and what you are doing to #PressForProgress.

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