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By Taruka Srivastava, Freelance journalist

June 8, 2022 | 3 min read

AMC Networks Content Room and the Ad Council have released a quirky new PSA highlighting the power of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and how their expertise is being used by the global hit series The Walking Dead.

The spot features Gitanjali Rao, a 16-year-old scientist, inventor and activist, interviewing the behind-the-scenes talent of the franchise, including director Aisha Tyler, costume designer Vera Chow and art director Jasmine Garnet. They explain in the visuals how STEM is used to bring the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead to life on screen. They talk about how they are using chemical formulas to create the looks for the costumes of the series and discuss the use of technology in creating the TV set.

The advert, created by AMC Networks Content Room, is part of the Ad Council’s national She Can STEM campaign, which was launched in 2018 to encourage girls, trans youth and non-binary youth around the country to get interested in STEM.

Kim Granito, executive vice-president of AMC Networks Content Room, said: “Over the last 11 years, this universe has been created by an array of insanely talented women who utilize STEM every day in their roles. This campaign will broaden perceptions of STEM beyond the stereotypes of lab coats and beakers, and will hopefully inspire the next generation of talented women in STEM.”

As per US Census Bureau, women make up nearly half of the total college-educated workforce in the US, but they only constitute 27% of the STEM workforce. Furthermore, the 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 STEM careers.

She Can STEM aims to dismantle the intimidating perceived barrier of STEM fields by showing girls, non-binary youth and trans youth how fun, messy, diverse and accessible STEM can be, encouraging them to dive in, no matter where they are in their STEM journey.

Michelle Hillman, chief campaign development officer, Ad Council, said: “Careers in STEM are varied and can touch all aspects of our lives. We are proud to partner with AMC Networks Content Room on this latest work for the She Can STEM campaign. With it, we hope to inspire young girls, non-binary youth and trans youth to recognize that their passion for STEM can impact countless industries – including the entertainment industry.”

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