Mars launches #HereToBeHeard campaign to advance action on gender equality
Board Member Victoria Mars calls on global business to “listen and step up because we have much more to do”

Mars, Incorporated recently launched #HereToBeHeard, a new global crowdsourcing campaign that elevates the voices of women from all intersections – including race, age, sexuality, religion and ability – to help shape a more inclusive business environment and create a world where all women can thrive. 

As part of Mars’ Full Potential platform for action on gender equity in its workplaces, sourcing communities, and the marketplace, #HereToBeHeard asks women everywhere: “What needs to change so more women can reach their full potential?” The responses will translate into concrete actions Mars will take – both within its value chain and in broader society – to close the gender opportunity gap.

Victoria Mars, Mars Board Member and ambassador of Mars’ Full Potential program: “Women have played a powerful role in our history and leadership at Mars. But we have more to do. We’re striving to empower more women within our workplace, and across our extended value chain. 

The magnitude and urgency of gender inequality in society demands more action. If global business doesn't listen and step up now, then when? Business can have an outsized impact on driving change at scale. At Mars we’re seizing this opportunity to expand the conversation and drive action. The #HereToBeHeard movement is about ensuring that all women’s voices have a chance to be heard and translating what we hear into impact plans that advance gender equality.”

Let your voice be heard

Currently, women make up 51 percent of the world's population and have the potential to contribute $28 trillion more to the global GDP, and yet so often their voices go unheard. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, the United Nations estimated it would take more than a century to close the gender opportunity gap. Now, the pandemic has set progress for gender equality back by 25 years. Its impact has been particularly devastating for women in minority groups who for far too long have been overlooked in the conversation.

Launched last year, the Mars Full Potential program aims to drive gender equality for all through a range of actions. By putting inclusivity and diversity at the heart of its efforts, Mars has:

  • Achieved gender pay equity across its workforce of 133,000 Associates, more than half of whom are women.
  • Gender balance in the local Mars Leadership team is at a 50/50%. Total workforce population in  Belgium is at 48% male/52% female and Line Manager workforce  is at 53% male/47% female.
  • Expanded its partnership with humanitarian aid agency CARE to empower 50,000 people in cocoa sourcing communities, the primary beneficiaries of which are women.
  • Been working with the Geena Davis Institute and UNStereotype Alliance to eliminate gender bias and stereotypes in its advertising.
  • Embraced transparency in articulating the company’s gender commitments and progress, which can be found here.

We want to hear your voice. Visit to learn more, complete the short survey and continue the conversation with #HereToBeHeard.

The initial phase of #HeretoBeHeard, where women’s voices will be collected, will run through March, building up on the International Women’s day. The results will be shared with the world in a study by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School this summer. They will translate into action plans through Mars’ Full Potential platform, including policies Mars can implement and advocate for in its commitment to unlock opportunities for women.

Mars Belgium
Dimitri Vleminckx
Select Multimedia