Campaign: my name is Peter
Did you know that there are more CEOs named Peter than female CEOs in the Netherlands? Isn’t that just as crazy as it sounds? Therefore Women Inc and BrandedU asked women to change their name into Peter on LinkedIn in a campaign week early 2022 to force companies into hiring more women in their leadership roles. Not just women responded to the request to change their name.
This campaign isn’t just about women being able to be a CEO. It’s about the fact that if diversity is missing in a board, decision making processes in total will be different. When certain people are left out in decision making positions this means that those decisions being made for the total society miss a certain perspective. We need balanced boards, in order to create a balanced workplace. With feminine and masculine values equally divided, given by whoever, from what age or background.
In order to create a kickstart of our campaign we reached out to a lot of powerful women before the campaign started. We wanted them to raise their voice with us and post it on LinkedIn all together on that Monday morning in January. We also reached out to media beforehand to let them know about our campaign week. With the attractive #MijnNaamIsPeter (#MyNameIsPeter) we went viral in a couple of hours. This was clearly the right time for this message to resonate. Not just for women, but also for men who joined the initiative and showed solidarity by posting #MijnnaamisPetra (#MyNameIsPetra). And of course, when discussing a sensitive topic like this, there were alternative views from people who did not agree with our approach. This is all part of change.
Time for action
“Peter” definitely made impact. It was – and will remain – the new reference point for a few workplace issues after the campaign week. When the government hired a man for a specific position, when a certain woman was definitely the better choice, the media reminded them of acting old fashioned and trying to keep “Peter” on top positions. But also other countries in Europe, like Germany and Italy, copied the campaign with pride. With this campaign we not only gave a fresh perspective, but also paved the foundation to [re]start the gender equality discussion in the workplace.