AT&T is setting new standards for the accurate portrayal of women in advertising.

In fact, the telecoms and entertainment company has already been an early adopter of the Gender Equality Measure (GEM) – a metric developed by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) that assesses whether the depictions of women and girls in ads and the media are sufficiently nuanced, rather than perpetuating outmoded stereotypes.

The ANA originally unveiled GEM in 2016, with the goal of increasing realistic female portrayals in advertising by 20% by 2020. AT&T, however, has put more ambitious objectives in place. Specifically, the New York-based enterprise has pledged to hit this target by the end of 2018 – fully two years ahead of the cross-industry schedule.

The impetus behind this program results, in part, from a rising demand for the realistic representation of women in culture, an attitude that is especially prevalent among younger cohorts, who are judging companies in ways that go well beyond the products they make. Having incorporated GEM into its copytesting for TV commercials, AT&T has also discovered a powerful business case for this strategy, too.