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Citroën: a feminist brand since always

Affiche "la voiture préférée de la parisienne" de Citroën

On this International Women's Day, it seems fitting to reflect on one of the characteristics of Citroën and its founder, André Citroën, who, in addition to being ahead in automotive technology, was also a pioneer in social rights, especially for women, making Citroën one of the most feminist brands.

This commitment began long before the establishment of the Citroën automobile brand. As early as 1915, André Citroën hired many women to operate his shell factory for the French army, aiding men on the battlefields. To meet the needs of the women in his workforce, André Citroën built a daycare center, a nursery, an infirmary, showers, and established a progressive social policy, supplementing wages with birth, convalescence, and breastfeeding bonuses. Even after the war, women remained important to André Citroën, who saw them as a significant market. He didn't hesitate to challenge the conservatives of the 1930s with advertisements like "The modern woman only drives Citroën" in a society where women didn't yet have the same rights as men. He repeated this strategy with an ad for the Rosalie, promoted as 'The Parisian Woman's Favorite Car,' featuring numerous women in his advertisements.

Since then, Citroën has always aimed to be close to women and speak to them directly. Remember the famous CX commercials with Grace Jones or Claudia Schiffer for various Xsara ads, including one where the brand didn't hesitate to conduct a crash test.

More recently, the current generation of C3 has seen two versions made in collaboration with ELLE, emphasizing the customization of the C3 with specific color accents to appeal to female customers. Likewise, Citroën's design has a feminine touch in the absence of sharp lines, the softness of volumes, or the lack of defined lines—a softer, less aggressive design overall. Similarly, the overall comfort and smoothness of driving in current models move away from very masculine codes to focus more on a cocoon-like, warm aspect of the interior in more feminine codes.

In conclusion, Citroën has demonstrated itself as a pioneering brand in inclusion and equal opportunities. By directly addressing women and offering products and services tailored to their needs, Citroën has helped change mindsets and pave the way for a fairer and more inclusive society. Citroën's commitment serves as an example for all companies aiming to engage in responsible practices and contribute to building a better world.


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