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Sheryl Sandberg Tells Advertisers How To Portray Women Fairly And Accurately

In an opinion piece penned for AdWeek, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg found a different target in her fight for gender equality, and it isn't the female professionals she has previously urged to "lean in."

Instead, Sandberg asked the advertisement industry to continue to create commercials that are thoughtful and consumer-grabbing, but, more importantly, that debunk the stereotypes surrounding women.

Much like her partnership with Getty Images that sought to produce stock photos casting women in a more fair and accurate manner, Sandberg is asking advertisers to be aware of how they portray women, and the negative impacts that certain commercials can have on our already-shaky gender equality.

"And crucially, we need to address the stereotypes that lead us to call girls 'bossy' and boys 'leaders,' and then when they grow up, women 'aggressive' and men 'results-oriented.'

"Those stereotypes are deepened and sustained by the messages sent by the media to women and girls. Women control the vast majority of consumer spending in this country, yet when asked in a survey if advertisers understand them, 90 percent of women said no."

Sandberg urges for advertisers to market more effectively, and that doesn't just mean showing products in a way that resonates with women. Sandberg says that, in a lot of the ads out there today, women are still cast as overly sexualized or subjugated by their male costars.

In the end, Sandberg sums up her compelling request quite nicely: Women are capable and clearly an important part of our workforce and economy — treating them as the empowered people they are makes perfect business sense, and does a whole lot of social good, too.

via AdWeek, Photo Credit: Getty Images