The last presentation of the Interbrand conference was about an important innovation about to be introduced in the fight against domestic violence and sexual abuse. Three impressive women: Anne Glauber (EVP Ruder-Finn), Maile Zambuto (CEO, Joyful Heart Foundation), and Jane Randel (SVP, Liz Claiborne) presented a new mark against domestic violence that will function much like the pink ribbon that represents breast cancer. This No More mark will act as an umbrella for the many efforts and organizations that work to eliminate violence against women (and other intimate violence). It is supported by several corporations, including Avon.
The presenters asked the audience to provide strategic ideas about how to begin this important new effort. Daniel Diez, who led the discussion from Interbrand, summed up by saying that the conference attendees would be engaged in a dialog over the next twelve months to help advise the No More group as they begin to get their effort off the ground. I look forward to watching this dialog unfold.
The conversation about No More was attended by some important discussion about the relationship of domestic violence to corporate life. Rose Kirk, president of the Verizon foundation, which has an extensive program against domestic violence, had presented in an earlier session. Here, she offered observations that supported Randell, Glauber, and Zambuto’s arguments that, since domestic violence is known to affect a high percentage of workers, it needs to become a focal point for companies across the board. However, many in the room nodded when Rose spoke about how difficult it was to get the leaders of companies to confront the fact of such violence.
It was good to see the support this initiative had from the audience at the Interbrand conference. Violence is the central means, worldwide, for perpetuating gender inequality. But it is the one thing we have trouble naming and admitting as a feature of our own culture. Easy enough to point the finger at bride-burning and honor -killing in other places, but few are willing to acknowledge that violence is equally present, in different forms, in the developed nations. I hope the No More effort will help foreground this important issue.