Research by advertising agency BBH Singapore has revealed that only one in ten Singapore women would name a Singapore woman as their role model.
The ongoing research that has amassed 600 responses so far from women between the ages 16 to 54 (and above) revealed that when Singapore women were asked to name their own role model, the vast majority would pick a personality from the West – including Gal Gadot, Michelle Obama, and Ariana Grande. Only one in ten could think of a Singapore role model.
In the Year of Celebrating SG Women, as designated by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), this study aims to bring attention to the current perceptions regarding local female icons, and elevate the incredible role models present closer to home.
As a response to this finding, BBH, in partnership with leading gender advocacy group AWARE, is honouring Singapore role models by launching one-of-a-kind online stickers series that can turn them into literal ‘social’ icons on social media.
Partnering with women illustrators in Singapore, the campaign – titled ‘#ShesAnIcon‘ – will feature admirable women including Farzana Abdul Razak, Jeannete Aw, and the Singapore Women Everest Team.
Farzana triumphed over a plane crash tragedy and gone on to live her life to the fullest, while Jeanette made a mark in the male-dominated filmmaking industry. As for the Singapore Women Everest Team, they pushed themselves through the toughest physical conditions to make it to the top of the world.
Each illustration will feature an inspirational phrase or quote spotlighting the achievements of each icon.
“The research finding is a sobering statistic. It is unfortunate that many incredible women in Singapore don’t get the recognition they deserve. As an agency that believes in using creativity to make a difference, we wanted to give our own women in Singapore a well-deserved place in popular culture,” said Amanda Lim, senior strategist and founding D&I team member at BBH Singapore.
She continued, “When people globally search for positive and motivating words and stickers, it is only right that our own women icons appear as well. These stickers have limitless potential to inspire women globally.
“More importantly, we want women in Singapore to feel represented and be able to see themselves in these role models. We are thankful to AWARE for extending their support to this initiative. As an authority on gender equality they were natural partners for this initiative.”
Kelly Leow, AWARE’s communication manager, remarked: “We are excited to partner with BBH on this meaningful initiative that puts a spotlight on women role models in Singapore and celebrates them in a fun yet culturally impactful way.
“For too long, stories of Singapore women have been out of the mainstream limelight. Our hope is that these stickers would inspire fellow Singapore women to continue making strides and telling their stories,” she added.
The stickers will be launched on International Women’s Day (8 March) across GIPHY, Instagram, and personal messaging apps like Telegram and Whatsapp, with new role models being introduced throughout March to honour Women’s History Month.
BBH and AWARE will also use their social media platforms to tell the stories of each of their role models as well as the illustrators.