The Ad Council has teamed with GE, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Verizon to launch ‘She Can Stem,’ a campaign to encourage girls to pursue their interests in science, technology, engineering and math (Stem), and it has plenty of star power attached to get girls ages 11-15 excited about Stem programs, from both the professional and tween fronts.
The national public service campaign includes digital and social creative content, as well as television, print and out-of-home advertising that showcases the achievements of female Stem role models to reinforce the idea that Stem is cool, unexpected and inspiring.
Three 30-second spots capture the essence of the campaign, showing three successful women talking about their respective jobs with a group of girls.
Tiera Fletcher, structural analysis engineer at Boeing, wows the girls by showing them the equipment that will eventually launch people to Mars.
In another, Lucianne Walkowicz, astronomer at the Adler Planetarium, helps them realize that they can go to the stars and possibly find life past earth.
A third features Bonnie Ross, head of Microsoft Halo Game Studio, showing that with technology, these girls can make amazing worlds. One girl even comments, “I want your job,” to which Ross replies, “I want you to have my job.”
Others featured in upcoming PSAs include Lisa Seacat DeLuca, engineer at IBM and Maya Gupta, research scientist at Google.
Beginning today (10 Sept), the campaign will be activated by media partners and platforms, including Facebook, Google and MTV, with an impressive assembly of talent, including popular digital talent Karina 'Slime Queen' Garcia, Sara Dietschy and the GEM Sisters Giselle, (15), Evangeline (10), and Mercedes (11), content creator Kamri Noel, actor Jenna Ortega, actor Riele Downs, actor Reiya Downs, Disney star Olivia Rodrigo, actor Lidya Jewett, actor and content creator Tessa Netting, 15-year-old astronaut-in-training Alyssa Carson and Mari Takahashi from Smosh Games.
Said Netting: “I think it is extremely important for young girls to not be afraid to outwardly show and be proud of the things that they are passionate about. If a girl shows an interest in a Stem related activity, we as a society should try harder to encourage and inspire her to pursue it. These girls are our leaders, our inventors, our backbone, our future, and they deserve to be celebrated.”
Women make up half of the total college-educated workforce in the US, but they only constitute 25% of the Stem workforce, according to the US Department of Commerce. Research shows that many girls lose interest in Stem as early as middle school, and this path continues through high school and college, ultimately leading to an underrepresentation of women in those industries.
“When girls don’t feel encouraged and empowered in Stem, we see serious consequences not only for girls and women, but also for the future of innovation in our country,” said Lisa Sherman, president and chief executive of the Ad Council.
“If we want women at the forefront of the next generation of STEM leaders, we must show young girls that it is possible. If they can see it, they can be it. This empowering creative, and our extraordinary coalition of partners, will have a significant and long-lasting impact on girls, women and society.”
The campaign creative was developed pro bono by McCann, and the creative directs audiences to @SheCanStem on Instagram, where girls can find campaign content featuring Stem role models, complete with resources from partners and nonprofits.
Additionally, the campaign website, SheCanStem.com, engages parents, teachers, organizations, non-profits, and others influential in girls’ lives. The site includes information about the campaign, resources from partners and nonprofits, and other information to help girls get involved in and stay in Stem.
'She Can STEM' includes eight participating non-profits in the STEM space, including Black Girls Code and Girl Scouts of the USA, which have provided learning resources that will be featured on Instagram and other platforms.