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Responsible Marketing

Heidi vs. Howard: Double standards wrapped up in 60 seconds

By January 6, 2014July 23rd, 2020One Comment
double standards between men and women

In a Harvard Business School case study, students were given an assignment based on a successful entrepreneur. The class was randomly split in half and handed the same reading. The content was identical except for one minor variance; the name of the entrepreneur was different. Half the class read about Heidi while the other half read the same story about Howard. Afterwards, the students were surveyed and found the two entrepreneurs equally knowledgeable and experienced. Without knowing they had all read the same story, the students ultimately concluded that Howard was much more likable.

Why was Howard more likable? This Philippine’s Pantene commercial breaks down the double standards in a powerful way:

So, do you love it or hate it? Does the video effectively represent the gender bias found in the workplace? Or is it just begging to be disputed?


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