Common age and gender stereotypes in Russia: know how these factors affect perceptions of service providers
In one of our recent articles, we wrote about the importance of online reviews for Russian buyers when purchasing products. In this post, we’ll touch on a different topic: the way online reviewers describe online service providers. If you plan to create ads targeting Russian buyers, it’s worthwhile to be aware of gender and age stereotypes in Russia, and the way they influence perceptions of visuals for your advertising materials.
In a recent study, Yandex combed through over 350 thousand profiles of individual service providers on Yandex.Services, a platform for hiring Russian companies and freelancers. In this study, Yandex was looking for information on the numbers of male and female freelancers, as well as the way reviewers describe their experiences.
While some professions are dominated by men or women, in some cases it was also possible to identify differences in the ways reviewers describe services provided by men and women in the same profession, and even the differences in how they describe services provided by freelancers of different ages.
Gender representation across professions on Yandex.Services
Yandex.Services gives access to a variety of service providers, from handymen, home renovation contractors, and movers to tutors, nannies, and language teachers. Among these services, there are predominantly “male” professions, such as handyman services, programming or legal services, and “female” services, such as manicure and pedicure, accounting, and copywriting.
Professions where both men and women are represented include psychologists, photographers, and massage therapists. Yandex ran an analysis of online reviews for these professions to see if there were any differences in how reviewers describe the services and the service providers based on their gender and their age.
Not surprisingly, there are quite a few differences. Whether you’re working on a script for a video ad, or developing collateral for display ads, being aware of the way Russians attribute specific qualities to younger and older people, as well as male and female service providers, can help you align your ads with your audience’s perception of your ad collateral.
Russian gender stereotypes in service provider reviews
While there are some trends, reviews for different areas of expertise focus on different skills and abilities.
For example, reviewers praise male psychologists for their smarts, experience, politeness, and efficiency. Women, on the other hand, are appreciated for their attentiveness, positive attitude, light touch, and gentle approach.
In photography, reviews of men mention such attributes as sense of humor, understanding of composition principles, quality, punctuality, and tact. Reviews of women photographers, mention talent, patience, calm atmosphere, and the final product: cute and adorable photos.
In massage therapy, reviewers praise men for being educated, responsive, and precise, and women for providing visible results and having gentle hands.
Russian age stereotypes in service provider reviews
Across the same professions, reviewers praise younger and older service providers for different qualities.
For instance, they describe older psychologists experienced, wise, and tactful. At the same time, younger service providers’ reviews mention their attention to detail, ability to make clients feel comfortable, and a cool experience.
Many reviewers also feel that younger photographers are cool – in this case, they mention cool pictures, and unusual and creative shots. Their older peers are perceived as artists able to create colorful and well-balanced photos.
As for massage therapists, reviewers describe older providers as experienced and attentive professionals. Young massage therapists get “good job” and “exceeded expectations” reviews.
How these results can inform your choice of visuals for advertising
While there are hardly any surprises in these survey results, they are a useful tool to check your assumptions about the audience concerning cultural expectations towards different ages, genders, and professions. Understanding existing perceptions can help with choosing influencers and adjusting your messaging to correspond to existing stereotypes (or to counter them).
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