TORONTO — Harbinger has found men are stepping up and are increasingly more open-minded about taking on traditionally female-centric household jobs like laundry, cleaning and cooking in a new study.

As a result, marketers may want to re-evaluate their strategies. Here are some of the survey highlights:

  • 69% feel that brands unfairly portray gender roles or stereotypes with regard to household chores;
  • 71% would like to see brands portray men contributing to household chores more often; and
  • 56% are more likely to purchase brands that show men and women contributing equally to household chores.

Marketers would be wise to keep up with these changing roles, as it is likely to pay off on their bottom line.

“Consumers are prepared to open their wallets and show loyalty to brands that reflect modern gender-inclusive households in their marketing and to disconnect from brands that don’t,” says Jennifer Lomax, vice president, strategic planning, Harbinger.

Attitudinal shifts are opening doors for marketers to connect with the aspirational North American home by showing a more equitable division of household chores. The study also suggests an opportunity for brands to empower men to do more.

Women would appreciate more support in doing the laundry and cleaning in particular, as these are areas where women and men agree he could do more; nearly half (44%) of women say he is not doing his fair share of laundry and cleaning and nearly a third (30%) of men admit they are falling short in these areas.

One of the things that may be holding men back is a fear that they lack the skills or experience necessary to take on some of these household tasks. The study found ability is the top factor in how household jobs are assigned and an even more significant factor for men (47%) than women (42%).

“Men in particular may just need more confidence to overcome a perceived lack of ability for some jobs,” says Lomax. “Educating and empowering men to step up is a win-win marketing strategy, as both genders want to see men succeed in doing more around the home.”

For more information on the study, click here to register for the Harbinger webinar – Evolution of Gender Roles at Home – taking place today (May 17) at 1:00 PM (EDT). Following the webinar, to obtain a copy of the research whitepaper – Evolving Gender Roles in the Modern North American Household – click here.

In addition, Harbinger polled the membership of Ellevate Network, a global professional women’s network, to contrast their behaviours and attitudes against those of the average North American. For these results, check out the recorded webinar at www.ellevatenetwork.com.

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