SeeHer’s Christine Guilfoyle Responds to Disillusionment about the Representation of U.S. Women with the “Pledge to Embed”
8 mins read

SeeHer’s Christine Guilfoyle Responds to Disillusionment about the Representation of U.S. Women with the “Pledge to Embed”

While no one in business likes setbacks, Christine Guilfoyle is overcoming disturbing perceptions with an important new program. 

SeeHer is the ANA’s global initiative to champion the positive representation of women and the leading global movement to eliminate gender bias in marketing, media, and entertainment.  A new edition of the report, Global Perceptions of Progress on Gender Equality, conducted by SeeHer in partnership with dentsu, showed some surprising results, including disillusionment in the U.S. market.

In the initial study conducted in 2021, 47% of Americans stated they were “very hopeful” about the future of gender equality; however, the latest edition found this had dropped to 39%.

The report found the perception barriers still exist:

  • 30% of Americans see women in ad messages as leaders, compared to 48% in 2021.
  • 70% believe women are being portrayed as caretakers, compared to 52% in 2021.

There is also a more significant lack of confidence in media and marketing regarding their support of gender equality. In 2021, 32% of Americans agreed that the media usually accurately portrays women, yet this year’s report saw that number decrease to 24%.

Globally, women wield over $30 trillion in annual consumer spending, surpassing the combined markets of China and India. Ignoring or underestimating the influence of female consumers would be a strategic misstep.

  • 90% of US consumers agree that media and marketing can help shape gender roles
  • 89% of US consumers agree that media and marketing have the power to teach children that girls can do anything that boys can do.

To learn more from Christine Guilfoyle about how SeeHer is changing the narrative for women and demonstrating increased business growth, watch the video interview on Internationalist Marketing TV (IMTV) on YouTube by CLICKING HERE.


To change the narrative for women and demonstrate increased business growth, Christine Guilfoyle is asking the industry to take action with the “Pledge to Embed” by including one or more of the Gender Equality Measure (GEM®) Suite of Tools into their practice.

She stated, “This is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year business imperative, which will enablethe industry to not only remove gender bias but also drive business growth and tap into the $31.5 trillion in consumer spending controlled by women. We encourage the industry to use SeeHer’s GEM® Suite of Tools by targeting consumers who, in the past, have not felt seen, heard, and valued. The time is now to take action.”

SeeHer GEM® tools offer the industry the first data-driven methodology quantifying gender bias in ads and programming. Considered the global measurement standard on gender equality, ads with positive GEM® scores have been found to drive 42% of consumers’ purchase intent.

Multi-dimensional portrayals of women have been shown to increase brand ROI by 500% versus stereotypical portrayals.

Listen to Christine Guilfoyle discuss how SeeHer is changing the narrative for women and demonstrating increased business growth, and to The Internationalist’s entire Trendsetters podcast series here on iHeartRadio’s Spreaker or wherever you download your podcasts.

In our conversation, we discuss the following:

  • Can you begin by briefly telling us about SeeHer’s mission and that of your members?
  • I recall when ANA first introduced SeeHer at Masters some years ago, but I don’t know how the initiative started. Was it brand-driven, media-driven, or in response to something in particular?
  • One item critical to SeeHer is the GEM Score or the Gender Equality Measure. Would you outline how this metric works… and also talk about some of the benefits of a high GEM Score…
  • Now, let’s turn to some new research… “Global Perceptions of Progress on Gender Equality,” which you undertook with Dentsu to examine views around gender equality and the role media and advertising play across cultures. The study covers five markets: the US and the UK, which are pretty similar, and Japan, India, and Mexico… which are quite different. Let’s start with why these specific markets.
  • While the study corroborated that “Consumers feel the media plays a substantial role in achieving gender equality,” there were also some troubling findings. Can you speak about them?
  • Before discussing how SeeHer can help encourage brands and the media to improve these perceptions… I’m curious if anything else in the study got your attention…
  • Are you finding that perceptions of a “gender gap” are generational?
  • Now let’s turn to another initiative that may combat some of the survey findings…the launch of your new Pledge campaign to change the narrative for women while also driving business growth. Please tell us about this…
  • You also have several other extensive programs underway. I understand you’re partnering with another ANA division—AEF—the ANA Educational Foundation– to create a Gender Equity Certificate. Tell us about that and what it means to the marketing industry…
  • Finally… what’s next? You’ve been SeeHer president for over a year. I realize we’ve outlined many new initiatives, but I sense there’s more in store!


Gender inequality is widely recognized as a global concern with the majority of consumers across the five countries surveyed recognizing its importance on both a global and personal level.

Research from Global Perceptions of Progress on Gender Equality found:

  • 84% of global adults say gender inequality is an important global issue
  • 93% of global adults say women’s equality is an important issue to them personally

However, the report found there are significant differences in how gender equality is perceived, addressed, and approached by region. Mexicans exhibit an emphasis on gender equality, with 91% expressing it as a top global concern – a sentiment surpassing that of any other country surveyed – followed by the U.K. and India (both at 86%), the U.S. (at 82%) and Japan (77%).

Global Perceptions of Progress on Gender Equality also unveiled how global populations viewed how equal women are perceived to men, with Japan viewing women 54% equal to men, followed by the U.K. (64% equal to men), the U.S. (66% equal to men), India (77% equal to men), Mexico (74% equal to men). Globally, the report found that women are viewed as 70% equal to men.

Ninety percent of adults agree that media is critical in shaping gender roles. Yet only 16% of women feel that they are usually portrayed accurately.

Christine Guilfoyle has been with ANA and SeeHer since 2021 in the role of executive vice president, membership. During that time, SeeHer’s global membership increased to more than 7250 brands. She helped members embed SeeHer’s expansive portfolio of tools, measurement, best practices, and trackers into their workstreams; led member support of SeeHer key initiatives, SeeHer in Sports and SeeHer Hear Her, and launched SeeHer Health.

Prior to joining SeeHer, ANA, Guilfoyle held strategic leadership roles at women’s lifestyle brands like Better Homes & Gardens, Martha Stewart Living, EveryDay with Rachael Ray, Shape, and More, with a focus on leading, transitioning, launching, and expanding multi-channel media brands. Her brand-building skills, ability to cultivate high-value relationships, and focus on team achievement and talent development have earned her industry accolades.


SeeHer is the global initiative to champion the positive representation of women and the leading global movement to eliminate gender bias in marketing, media, and entertainment. Launched in 2016 by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) SeeHer’s coalition of leaders is committed to setting the gender equality agenda for the industry and driving growth for their businesses.

To help its members benchmark success and become catalysts for change, SeeHer spearheaded the
development of the Gender Equality Measure® (GEM®), the first research
methodology that
quantifies gender bias in ads and programming. Winning the prestigious
ESOMAR Research
Effectiveness Award, GEM® is the global measurement standard, proving
that content
accurately portraying women and girls dramatically increases purchase intent and
brand reputation.

SeeHer’s suite of training and resources, including GEM®, enables marketers to prioritize best
practices as part of an always-on approach to driving growth. The movement
includes the following vertical expertise: SeeHer in Sports, SeeHer Entertainment, SeeHerHealth, and the SeeHer Media Task Force.