Escalent, in partnership with Merrill, has announced that its research project, Seeing the Unseen: The role gender plays in wealth management, has been awarded a Gold David Ogilvy Award for Brand Purpose from The Advertising Research Foundation.

The award recognizes Merrill for their work to focus on a higher reason to exist than just making a profit. To support their brand purpose of making their firm a place where women feel seen, welcomed and celebrated, Merrill partnered with Escalent on a groundbreaking study to understand the role gender bias plays in investing relationships. A thorough and multi-layered body of research conducted by Escalent identified unconscious behaviors to help Merrill be more inclusive by mitigating systemic bias internally as well as in the broader financial services industry.

“We are incredibly proud of what this team has accomplished in their mission to create a better financial future for women,” said Melissa Sauter, CEO of Escalent. “Working hand-in-hand with Merrill to uncover what unconscious gender bias still exists in wealth management will help drive meaningful change across the industry. We’re honored to accept this recognition with Merrill as they actively transform insights into action.”

The ARF David Ogilvy Awards is the premier awards program that honors research- and insights-driven advertising. The awards pay tribute to the late David Ogilvy, the ultimate “mad-man” founder of the agency Ogilvy and creator of some of the biggest fundamentals in advertising that are still being used today. The awards celebrate his forward-thinking belief in the importance of research behind effective advertising. The newly established Brand Purpose Award honors a campaign that showcases the brand’s raison d’etre and relates to something bigger—a contribution to humanity.