Across Cities, Billboards Bring Women’s Achievements to Light

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This is a guest post by Rainbow Kirby-Stearns, director of corporate communication for Clear Channel Outdoor.

At Clear Channel Outdoor, one of the most fulfilling aspects of my role in corporate communications is bringing light to social causes through the lens of the outdoor screen. In today’s attention-deprived society and fragmented media landscape, billboards can’t be skipped or blocked; It’s kind of hard to miss a 14’ x 48’ outdoor canvas. And it’s because of our physical presence in cities that we believe we have an even greater responsibility to use our media in ways that inspire action.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, Clear Channel celebrated 14 Women Voyagers from across the globe in partnership with The Female Quotient and our fellow NLC-corporate partner, Google, on digital billboards in Times Square. This campaign featured female change agents from 144 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report. By raising the visibility of women everywhere and elevating their voices, the campaign fuels awareness and inspiration, and helps shift the global gender imbalance.

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International Women’s Day may land within Women’s History Month, but our promotion of female leaders is not a once-a-year-event. We regularly display campaigns to honor and encourage other women – and men. We’re in this together, and men must be part of the conversation.

In January, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas, we shared imagery of over 40 female executives highlighting their individual leadership qualities, such as empathy and collaboration. In addition, we displayed the #SeeHer campaign, a movement led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), whose mission is to increase the percentage of accurate portrayals of women and girls in U.S. advertising and media by 20 percent by 2020. This coincides with the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.  As they say, “If you can see her, you can be her,” and the creative hopes to inspire young women to explore careers in STEM.

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When celebrating Women’s History Month, it’s important to remember how far we’ve come, but to also see and acknowledge the women who are changing history now, such as Catherine Cortez Masto, who is the first female senator from Nevada and the first-ever Latina senator, an accomplishment that will continue to remove barriers for those that follow.

While the movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri captured attention during awards season, we were happy to see billboards share the spotlight, and will continue to use them to promote messages of public safety, public service and acknowledgments to leaders, female and male, in our cities and communities.

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Atlanta Councilmember Joyce Shepherd recently shared with CitiesSpeak how she views Women’s History Month as a celebration of past pioneers and an opportunity to look forward and pass on that legacy. And this June, I look forward to joining she and fellow members of Women in Municipal Government (WIMG) at their 2018 Summer Conference in Atlanta, May 30-June 2, with the theme — Women Empowering Change.

rainbow kirbyAbout the author: Rainbow Kirby-Stearns is director of corporate communication for Clear Channel Outdoor, a corporate partner of the NLC.