Minding the Gender Gap: P&G’s Secret and the US Women’s World Cup

Secret, the Procter and Gamble brand sponsor of the winning US Women’s World Cup team, has committed $529,000 ($23k for each of the 23 players) to address the pay gap between the men and women’s soccer teams.

“Strong enough for a man…but made for a woman.”

With this bold, yet calculated move at Brand Activism, P&G have opened a new door in the fight for gender pay equality, actually doing something about it – and they’ve made sure everyone knows, by taking out this full page ad in the New York Times.

Interestingly, the brand brought up the issue well before the World Cup, with this advertisement in March:

According to the Reputation Institute, “gender equality in the workplace is this year’s 9th most important reputation macro-trend.”

The Institute also explains: “There exists a new cultural narrative that doesn’t accept inequality, and instead, fosters equal opportunities.”

There is criticism: … in the United Kingdom, where companies with more than 250 employees are now required by law to disclose their gender pay gaps, Procter & Gamble reported that its “Procter & Gamble UK” division pays female employees 28.5% less than men in median hourly wages.

There is still work to do, and when companies rush to show their brand activism stripes, they had better make sure address the same issues internally as well as externally.