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11 May 2017

Overcoming the echo chamber: Thoughts and learnings from GWEN London and G(irls)20



G(irls)20 is one of Edelman’s global pro bono charities. It is focused on a vision where women around the world can participate fully in the economic growth, political stability and social innovations in their countries.

Each year twenty young female leaders aged 18-23 from a G20 country come together with local and global experts at the G(irls)20 Summit, where they produce a dossier with tangible solutions towards increasing female labor force participation. The dossier is presented a month later to G20 Leaders for their consideration.

Earlier in May, GWEN London hosted a breakfast discussion in the run up to G(irls)20 with two of the summit’s delegates, Kate Cyr and Dunola Oladapo. We looked at how Kate and Dunola could identify communication strategies that steer clear of the echo chamber, and effectively drive a resonating message home to create action.

Bringing together men and women from across all levels at Edelman London, we collectively unpicked the challenges associated with communicating in a crowded and noisy environment, where we have seen plenty of energy and a desire for change, but where concrete action is limited.

Our advice focused on the need for credibility, authenticity and most importantly trust. In an environment where trust is at an all-time low, it is more important than ever to develop communication strategies that are genuine. By this, we mean strategies that are devoid of buzz words, spoken in earnest and are crucially, tangible. Communicators must have a realistic call to action for the individual and, they must be prepared to act on it themselves.

The situation regarding the female labor force globally is complicated. Culture, poverty, geography, minority status, early marriage or pregnancy, and traditional perceptions about the status and role of women, are among the many challenges that stand in the way of women’s and girls’ ability to partake in and benefit from education and employment.

We concluded that a successful campaign does therefore not necessarily need to be glossy, come with a large budget, or a set of celebrity influencers. Rather, it is the small and local operations that hold substance and credibility in their community, as well as a clear call to action that can help create as much meaningful activity and change. As Swami Sivananda put it, “A mountain is made up of grains. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching.”

By Gabriella Siciliano, Angela Steiner, Claudia Gibson, Laura Furness

For more information on Edelman GWEN, please visit the Edelman GWEN website

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