JWT Worldwide Releases Its Thesis on ‘Female Tribes’

By Erik Oster 

Today in Regrettably Awkward Timing, JWT Worldwide has released the results of its “Female Tribes” insight study to correspond with a two-minute manifesto film celebrating the accomplishments and aspirations of women in various industries worldwide…as well as a website further documenting the effort.

The study, and film, argues: “It’s time to change the conversation, recognizing the value of female capital and understanding that defining women according to their responsibilities is limiting.” That conclusion stems from its recent Women Index study, which found that “58% of women say that role models in TV or film have inspired them to either be more assertive or more ambitious,” and the project aims to facilitate positive portrayals of women.

You’ve probably seen the video as it went live in February, but here it is again.


Elle UK had a sort of down-to-earth explanation of the project as a replacement for #SquadGoals:

As part of the Female Tribes campaign, JWT launched an ongoing global study spanning nine countries, including the UK, the US, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and China. The agency spoke to 4,300 women between the ages of 18-70 and formed a Women’s Index Study (WIS).

Some of the most interesting findings from the WIS were:

– 76% said it had never been a better time to be a woman

– 74% said their work was linked to their sense of self

– 86% said that femininity was a strength and not a weakness

‘Some key findings from the study were that age is not a predictor of life stage,’ explains Rachel Pashley, Group Planning Head of JWT. ‘Women are not just consumers, but wealth creators in their own right and the status of motherhood does not define a woman. These findings mean we need to rethink male and female values in a business setting.’


“As part of the WIS, the agency also created a set of 20 female tribes – not to be thought of as another set of stereotypical boxes to neatly fit women into, but rather trends of female progress – from teen activists and cultural icons to super athletes.”

So this was an in-depth project, but of course it’s not ALL about doing good. JWT stands to benefit from becoming, in its own words, “the agency with the most insight, knowledge and research about the largest consumer category in the world: women.”

In New York, meanwhile, the shop and its parent company WPP continue to defend former CEO Gustavo Martinez in a discrimination lawsuit filed by global chief communications officer Erin Johnson. We might remind readers that the recently released video of him making a rape joke at a meeting in Miami documents only one of the many incidents mentioned in her suit.

Should the agency’s own defense of this guy’s no longer alleged (in at least one case) behavior change the way we view its manifesto?