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Female Power Impacts Advertising & Society

Photo of Melika Kordrostami

Marketing Professor Melika Kordrostami's latest research shows how women who are portrayed in nontypical ways in advertisements have power. She identified five different female power dimensions including athletic power, sexual power, expert power, family power, and empowerment that makes an impact on consumers and the community.

”This is something important to me, especially coming from the Middle East and observing gender discriminations growing up,” she said of the research topic she started investigating in 2015, before the #MeToo movement went viral in 2017.  

Even prior to initiating research, while working at Nestlé, Melika noticed how the company promoted gender power champions, or those females holding power positions, in their public relations. With now two women on Nestlé’s Executive Board (Nestlé, 2021), Melika the organization has amplified its gender balance. She believes that it is important for companies to recognize the different dimensions related to gender power and to have them employed in their communications and marketing. According to Melika, theories related to advertisement shape our societies because what female consumers see in the media can have a considerable impact on their mindsets as well as on their behaviors. 

Melika Kordrostami, Ph.D.,  is a CSUSB professor who teaches marketing principles and consumer behavior, as well as digital marketing, a course that was offered for the first time this Spring 2021 semester. She predominantly researches gender issues in advertising and has been published in high impact marketing journals such as Journal of Marketing Management and Journal of Product and Brand Management. She recently won an award for best working paper at the Society for Consumer Psychology 2020 Annual Conference for "Sexual Agency and Advertising," which she co-authored with her sister, Elika Kordrostami. Prior to joining JHBC, she worked in multinational companies such as Nestle and Siemens. She also taught executive workshops in change management and gender balance.