Alice Sharma on Elle magazine’s new campaign that looks at gender gap in the workspace by photoshopping men out of pictures to demonstrate how lonely and rare it is for women to be on top.

What would the world’s big industries look like without men in them? There is no reward for guessing. An empty space with a handful of women is the answer. A Utopia for women seems a distant dream in the patriarchal order of things. If you have any doubt about the disproportionate grip of men in the top tables, watch the video for #MoreWomen, a campaign by Elle magazine.

In what can be termed as nothing but a brave attempt, The UK edition of the fashion glossy Elle magazine tried to rebrand feminism in 2013. The campaign garnered widespread discussions on whether a consumerist magazine could attempt this appropriation. Three years later, they are at it again and the world has moved on from the debate of appropriation, to the idea of inclusion and the idea of multiple choices to be.

So when Elle UK comes up with a video that demonstrates the disproportionate levels of men in top spaces, the world listens with less cynicism than before. The magazine has now made a striking video to support the campaign, which shows what governments, committees and tv shows around the world would look if men were photo shopped out of them.

Because the men are photoshopped out of it, the video shows Emma Watson cutting a lonely figure in the UN, where she delivered a speech on women empowerment last year. In various other images we see Angela Merkel and Hillary Clinton alone in meeting rooms and TV shows.

The situation is also not very different in India with only 7 women ministers out of the 45 members in the cabinet. Women in India are also noticeably absent or are rarely seen on the powerful positions. India also ranks a lowly 108th on the Gender Gap Index compiled by the World Economic Forum.

The aim of Elle is to bring the topic of the gender gap into mainstream discussion and  to empower more women to make it to the top. To join the campaign, the magazine is encouraging powerful women to post a group picture on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the caption, “One woman’s success makes EVERY WOMAN STRONGER. More women for #morewomen

The video is a shocking reminder of how rare it is for women to equal the men in the society’s top table. To outnumber them is still  out of question.

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