New York-based former AKQA creative director Mara Binudin-Lecocq, along with a few friends from the agency, recently launched Your Secret Code, a personalized children’s book starring “your girl as a tech hero.”
The idea, Binudin-Lecocq notes, was to encourage young girls to go beyond fairytales and venture into science, technology, and other male-dominated spaces.
Binudin-Lecocq herself was, in fact, one of the few women who had been able to foray into the advertising industry, which to date remains populated with male employees and supervisors. Born and raised in the Philippines by Filipino advertising creative director Ishak Binudin and her French mother, Binudin-Lecocq followed after her father’s footsteps in advertising and made it to BETC Paris, and, afterward, AKQA New York.
Not to mention the fact that mainstream media remains complicit in enforcing not just gender stereotypes, but unachievable standards of beauty among girls as young as four years old. All the more, these young girls need fearless role models to look up to, instead of the fairytale beauty - the cardboard cutout damsel-in-distress.
Of course, to see an empowered girl is one thing - to see an empowered girl who actually looks like you is another. Diversity is yet another hurdle the global media has yet to overcome, and Your Secret Code, notably, made sure not to have missed this. Through the website yoursecretcode.com, people can customize the tech heroine’s appearance so that she may look more like the young girl most likely receiving the book from her parents.
In the following video, Binudin-Lecocq discusses how at an early age, girls should be shown they can be dolls and daintiness and more. She also notes how seeing women in power gives young girls the confidence boost they need to feel empowered, themselves.
Your Secret Code, launched officially mid-April 2017, was made possible by Sophia Amoruso’s Girl Boss Foundation.