In an age when gender-based discrimination and stereotypes are increasingly frowned upon, some may have failed to notice the changing reality of the commercial cleaning sector.
Just as some jobs – such as construction and engineering – are seen as ‘male’ occupations and others like nursing and midwifery are considered traditionally female roles, so it is that cleaning is traditionally seen as something women do. However, the reality of professional cleaning services in London is quite different.
Because of this, those making outdated assumptions can end up being embarrassed. This has just happened to the makers of a TV advert for a JML cleaning device, the Hurricane Spin Scrubber, which showed several different women using the tool around the house.
With no men shown to be deploying the product, this generated a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which said the ad ”’implied that only women cleaned or were interested in cleaning products”.
The ASA agreed and upheld the complaint against advertising agency Clearcast, noting that the advert “contained a number of explicit references to cleaning up after other people and implied feelings of shame at other people seeing an unclean home” by the women involved. The ad was consequently banned.
While the advert was about a domestic cleaning device, the stereotype of cleaning being a women’s job is an erroneous assumption made about the office cleaning sector too.
Our staff include men and women, as well as people from a diverse range of backgrounds across various demographics, proving that what really matters is not stereotypes, but employing skilled staff who can ensure your office looks pristine.
After a week in which attitudes to issues of diversity have been highlighted in other areas of life ranging from cricket to press coverage of the royal family, it may be reassuring to know that when it comes to office cleaning, the focus is firmly and simply on doing a great job.