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Fck The Cupcakes launches new gender equality initiative to empower men to ‘be the change’

Australia – Fck The Cupcakes (FTC), an industry movement that helps address gender inequality, has launched its first major campaign, ‘Be the Change’, an initiative motivating men to help women drive change.

FTC, which is led by Jasmin Bedir, Innocean Australia’s CEO, and a team within the agency, has brought together a powerhouse of communications professionals to help develop and implement the campaign. The FTC committee includes creative by Innocean, media by Hearts & Science, and PR by Edelman, as well as digital by Razorfish, and publishers by Paramount ANZ, JCDecaux, Nine Network, Nova, and News Corp, as well as Mamamia, and Yahoo, amongst others, supporting organisations Never Not Creative, shEqual, The ManCave, and Line & Length, as well as Omnicom Group, and DHL as a sponsor of the campaign.

The ‘Be the Change’ campaign aims to help shift the gender conversation from being a women’s issue to one that seeks to engage men and give them permission to enter the conversation and actively support women. It features a short-form sitcom as its centrepiece that helps Aussie men recognise spoken and unspoken casual misogyny in the workplace, in which the script was written based on results and answers to numerous equality surveys, as well as using the many lived experiences of Australian women. 

Although shot in a sitcom style like ‘The Office’, the sad reality is, for many women, the film isn’t a parody. The viewer is deliberately drawn to the main character’s obvious displays of sexism and misogyny when what takes place behind him is just as important. It’s the lack of reaction to the seen and unseen moments that the campaign aims to draw attention to and guide men on how they could better respond in those situations.

Moreover, the film lives on the ‘Be the Change‘ website, where men can unpack the moments to motivate behaviour change, and then take action in the form of tools, information, and workshops from male organisations. All communications are written in a language to get everyone on the same level, not play the blame game.

Bedir shared, “If the election has taught us anything, women do not want men to stand by in the struggle for equality. But we also acknowledge that many men want to help but don’t know how – so we have created a safe space for men to learn the tools and give permission to contribute to the fight for gender equality 365 days a year.”

Meanwhile, Rod Prosser, Paramount’s chief sales officer for ANZ, said that the truth is many men have disengaged from the conversation, and for the vast majority of men, they do not relate to the stories of extreme sexual assault, unfair dismissal, or domestic violence so often covered in mainstream media. 

“We have no lived experience of what the average woman goes through in their daily workday, nor our unconscious contribution to it,” added Prosser.