AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS — A new campaign calls on women in The Netherlands to change their names to Peter on LinkedIn this week to protest the fact that in 2022 there will be more CEOs in the Netherlands named Peter than there are female CEOs – indicative of the vastly higher proportion of male than female CEOs globally. The campaign was devised by creative agency The Family Amsterdam in collaboration with gender equality interest group WOMEN Inc. and BrandedU, an organisation devoted to supporting women’s career development.
Shocking gender inequality is nothing new, but is kept alive by enduring social and material inequalities. For example, women currently spend on average 1.5 times more time on unpaid care tasks than men. Meanwhile, parental leave continues to present a significant drop in pay – and is completely absent for the self-employed.
Impossible conditions mean more women than men choose part-time positions and are therefore less likely to be promoted to high-ranking roles. If that wasn’t enough, gender stereotyping still prevents women from reaching the top in business, according to research by Nyenrode Business University.
The ‘My name is Peter’ campaign was devised by Dutch creative agency The Family Amsterdam. In addition to their client work, such as their recent Tap Dance campaign for G-Star Raw, the agency seeks socially responsible causes and work that makes a positive impact.
Linda de Graaff, managing director and co-founder of the agency said, ‘We work hard for our clients, but we also keep our eyes and ears open for campaigns that can make a difference. When we read an article that said there were more Dutch CEOs named Peter than CEOs who are women, we immediately knew that we had to do something to help. From there, the idea of asking as many women as possible to temporarily change their name to Peter on LinkedIn, in order to draw attention to this issue – after all, if your name is Peter, you have a better chance of becoming a CEO.”
To bolster their campaign, the Family collaborated with WOMEN Inc., an interest group for greater gender equality in the Netherlands, and BrandedU, an organisation which helps women reach the top of their fields.
Many high-profile Dutch women are already participating in the campaign, including politician Sylvana Simons, author Helene van Santen, and editor of Vogue Netherlands Yeliz Çiçek. All have temporarily changed their names on LinkedIn to Peter.
And it is not only females supporting the campaign, the Prince Constantijn of The Netherlands has also changed his name to “Petrushka” as a sign of solidarity for the protest.
Emma Lok, Director of Strategy & Communication at WOMEN Inc.: ‘We want to make people aware of the lack of diversity in decision-making positions through this campaign, and make them think about doing things differently. At the same time, we want to sensitise policymakers and employers, to tell them that things can and must be done differently. That way everyone benefits – so let’s get it done!’
According to research into data from all Dutch listed companies, there are still hardly any women at the absolute top of the Dutch business community: only 4.82 percent of CEOs are women. In comparison: there are not only many more male directors, but even more directors named Peter.
Want to know more or participate? Go to www.mijnnaamispeter.nl
Creative agency: The Family Amsterdam
Partners: WOMEN INC. and BrandedU
Video: Tim Arnold