To break the bias, you have to break the biases that influence it

There isn’t a year (or a day) when we don’t celebrate International Women’s Day at The Behaviours Agency.

As a female-founded business, with over 50% female representation across all levels of the team, we are committed to promoting and driving empowerment and success not just in our industry but in all areas of life and society. 

This year, our attention was grabbed by the International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign #BreakTheBias. As a behavioural change marketing agency, we work to overcome and reframe the biased behaviour of consumers towards brands, products and services. With the IWD campaign, challenging a bias is taken mainstream, beyond the view of consumer decision making and into disrupting the preconceived thoughts and actions of people in their everyday lives.

But overcoming biases is no mean feat. In a world where biases are so heavily inbuilt in society and amplified by the voices and opinions across the media 24/7. The many biases we face, whether conscious or unconscious, are embedded in our decision-making process and affect how we think, act and react in certain situations.

In order to “break the bias” we need to confront the biases that are driving it

We work in an industry that has the means and influence to break the bias towards gender in society
In this blog, we explore examples from brands that are working hard to break the bias of gender stereotypes with their visuals, messages, ambassadors and initiatives.

Breaking the “Unconscious Bias”

This bias drives the underlying attitudes and stereotypes that people unconsciously attribute to another person or group of people, affecting how they understand and engage with them.


Lego // Ready for girls

Gender bias influences people from a young age. Lego, as the constant champion of creativity and imagination, is the perfect platform to not only break gender stereotypes but build the confidence needed to pursue careers in what are still seen as male-oriented industries.

The ‘Ready for Girls’ campaign calls upon the need in society to rebuild perceptions to support the empowerment of children. In Lego’s words, they will “[…]ensure any child, regardless of gender identity, feels they can build anything they like, playing in a way that will help them develop and realize their unique talent.”

Breaking the “Confirmation bias”

This bias drives the tendency to search for, interpret, focus on and remember information that confirms your own preconceptions.


RAF // No Room for Clichés

The bias towards the armed forces being a predominantly male environment isn’t founded in any reality but only in the bias created by society. In this advert, the makers work to break this bias, subverting the clichés of female interests and flipping them on their head, driving a powerful message of empowerment, strength, intelligence and passion of female representation in the Royal Air Force.

Breaking the Gender bias

This bias drives the tendency to favour one gender over another. This behaviour can be unconscious or implicit, aligning certain attitudes and stereotypes. 

Woman Inc. // My name is Peter

To make a point of the under-representation of female decisions making roles, of which  94 CEOs in the Netherlands there just 5 are women. Women Inc. and BrandedU teamed up to create the “My name is Peter” initiative. For one week they encourage women in all positions to change their first name on LinkedIn to Peter draw attention to the unequal gender distribution in the workplace.

This International Women’s Day, let’s #Breakthebias

These examples highlight the need to understand the bias you want to break to create a compelling result. We can see that these biases can be reframed and rewritten from an early age all the way through to industry leaders. So, there is nowhere for a bias to hide when you understand how behavioural science can break it.

Find out how behavioural biases can affect consumer decision making?

If you want to make it easier for your customers to recognise and choose your brand, we’d love to hear from you. We deliver everything from insights, strategy and brand building, to big ideas and tactical execution. Get in touch with us here.