Last night was the night we’ve been waiting for all year – for some it was the game, for others, it was the reveal of the most anticipated advertisements. For us, it wasn’t the historic comeback of the New England Patriots that gave us goosebumps, but rather was the empowering bold statements about gender equality.
The game began with “America the Beautiful” sung by the cast of Hamilton. It was a beautiful rendition to which they added a lyric to be more inclusive for all Americans, “And crown thy good with brotherhood, and sisterhood, from sea to shining sea.” They were immediately received with a roar of applause from the stands followed by camera pans to coaches and team members smiling and cheering.
The game began, the awaited commercials followed, and in the third quarter the most talked about ad aired – Audi’s Daughter Commercial. “What do I tell my daughter?” a man asks himself as he watches over his daughter gearing up to kart-race with the boys. How does he tell his daughter that she is valued less than a man because she was born female? As the race gets underway, you can see the eerie parallel to the race of the corporate world – the lone woman racing against a group of men down the corporate pipeline. As her father watches on he asks “Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets?” What do fathers tell their daughters who strive to be the best, without any notion of gender or race, who don’t see the inequality of the world ahead of them? Audi answers that perhaps one day fathers won’t have to. One day there will be equal pay for equal work – and, according to their supplemental press release, Audi is “committed to supporting pay equality, inclusivity, and the growth and development of all employees.”
Who will join them in this endeavor? Who will help change the conversation for our daughters?
Today, as we are back in the office replaying America the Beautiful from our computers, we are left with renewed hope. The hope that as our conversations are gradually becoming more mainstream and that gender equality will become more prominent in people’s minds. Last night we watched history be made, on and off the field, promoting equality for all. Let’s not let this hope fizzle into replayed YouTube videos, let’s continue the conversation to drive change for women in the workplace, and our daughters’ seat at the table.