There's A Huge Problem With Audi's Feminist Super Bowl Ad

Photo: Screenshot.
In its Super Bowl ad last night, Audi presented us with the radical notion that women are equal to men. The star of its commercial is a young girl who wins a soapbox derby racing against a bunch of boys. Her father, the narrator, struggles with what to tell her about her self-worth while observing the race.

“What do I tell my daughter? Do I tell her that her grandpa’s worth more than her grandma? That her dad is worth more than her mom? Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets?”

At the end, the screen reads: "Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work. Progress is for everyone."

Here, in case you haven't seen it yet:
Yes! We are so down for all of this. Sure, it's designed to make us cry (and buy cars), but we applaud the message of social progress. And with more than 111 million watching, it was bound to make an impact.

However, it didn't take long for people to notice that something's off about Audi's progressive message. See if you can spot it in this tweet:
Indeed, Audi's executive board is whiter and more male than Donald Trump's cabinet. The Audi U.S.A. executive team boasts just two women out of 14 men; one is a woman of color.

Miranda Harper, Audi of America's director of communications, brand, and lifestyle, told Refinery29 that the company is looking to improve representation by training female and minority employees for future leadership.

For starters, Volkswagen of America's (Audi's parent company) graduate analyst program, which serves as a "pipeline for future talent," has a minimum requirement of 50% women. The company also has an executive mentoring program geared toward women and minorities. Women comprise 22% of Audi U.S.A.'s workforce, which is slightly below the industry average of 27%.

Audi U.S.A. signed the White House equal pay pledge in December. "We are confident in our processes for evaluating pay equality and can confirm pay equality between men and women," Harper says. "Additionally, we pledge to put aggressive hiring and development strategies in place to increase the number of women in our workforce, at all levels."

While we appreciate the feminist ad and the commitment to equal pay, we'd like to see equality on all fronts — which means more women and people of color among board appointees and in those ceiling-shattering top positions.

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