GE, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Verizon Join Forces to Empower Young Girls to Pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in New Ad Council Campaign
NEW YORK, September 10, 2018 – In a groundbreaking effort to encourage girls to pursue their interests in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the Ad Council convened an unprecedented coalition of partners, including GE, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Verizon, to launch She Can STEM. 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. Beginning today, the campaign will be activated by leading media partners and platforms, including Facebook, Google, MTV, storytelling platform Playbuzz and Twitter, and an unparalleled assembly of talent, including popular digital talent Karina “Slime Queen” Garcia, Sara Dietschy and the GEM Sisters (Giselle (15 years old), Evangeline (10), and Mercedes (11)), content creator Kamri Noel, actress Jenna Ortega, actress Riele Downs, actress Reiya Downs, Disney star Olivia Rodrigo, actress Lidya Jewett, actress and content creator Tessa Netting, 15-year-old astronaut-in-training Alyssa Carson and Mari Takahashi (@atomicmari) from Smosh Games.
Women make up half of the total college-educated workforce in the U.S., but they only constitute 25 percent of the STEM workforce, according to the U.S. 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 STEM careers.
“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 CEO 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.”
She Can STEM aims to challenge obsolete stereotypes and help middle school girls overcome their perceptions of what STEM isn’t by surprising them with what it is. The new campaign creative, developed pro bono by McCann, spotlights the achievements of seven inspiring and accomplished women to give STEM a new sense of relevance and an emotional connection with tween girls. The PSAs feature:
- Lisa Seacat DeLuca, Distinguished Engineer at IBM
- Tiera Fletcher, Structural Analysis Engineer at Boeing
- Maya Gupta, Research Scientist at Google
- Danielle Merfeld, Chief Technology Officer at GE Renewable Energy
- Nicki Palmer, Chief Network Engineering Officer at Verizon
- Bonnie Ross, Head of Microsoft Halo Game Studio
- Lucianne Walkowicz, Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium
“To work with these incredible brands, and some of their most inspiring female leaders, is an incredible opportunity,” said Sean Bryan, McCann NY co-chief creative officer. “McCann has long championed the importance of STEM and the entire team, from day one, was honored to be part of this project that has the power to shape all our futures.”
The campaign 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, nonprofits, 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: Black Girls Code, ChickTech, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Who Code, National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), the New York Academy of Sciences and the Society of Women Engineers. These non-profit organizations have provided valuable resources that will be featured on Instagram and on SheCanSTEM.com to help girls learn more about science, technology, engineering and math.
The campaign brand partners, GE, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Verizon, will be supporting She Can STEM by promoting content across their channels at launch and throughout the duration of the campaign. In addition to funding the campaign, brand partners will show their support through online and offline activations during relevant STEM touchpoints throughout the year. As an example, women from each of the leading technology companies, along with STEM influencers, will post pictures of their younger selves with a note on how “if she can STEM, so can you,” describing how they got to where they are today, and a call-to-action for other women to share their own STEM stories.
She Can STEM will also be supported through activations from digital talent that are popular with the campaign’s target audience of middle school girls. Instagram creators will be sharing original content on their own channels to support the campaign. Popular digital talent Karina “Slime Queen” Garcia, Sara Dietschy and the GEM Sisters (Giselle (15 years old), Evangeline (10),and Mercedes (11)), content creator Kamri Noel, actress Jenna Ortega, actress Riele Downs, actress Reiya Downs, Disney star Olivia Rodrigo, actress Lidya Jewett, actress and content Creator Tessa Netting, 15-year-old astronaut-in-training Alyssa Carson and Mari Takahashi (@atomicmari) from Smosh Games have committed to amplifying the She Can STEM message.
Per the Ad Council's model, the new creative assets will be distributed to media outlets nationwide and run in donated media time and space. Leading media and social media platforms and publishers including, Google, Facebook, MTV, Playbuzz and Twitter, have committed to supporting the campaign beginning at launch. Twitter will be supporting the new work through donated media. Twitter has also dedicated resources to building and optimizing the media to ensure She Can STEM reaches girls across its platform. UM has donated their services to support the campaign with strategy and outreach.
Through a partnership with Facebook Anthology, MTV will support She Can STEM through a video series on the network’s IGTV. The digital series will feature a celebrity host who visits diverse STEM women in their places of work to learn about what they do, what drives them and how they can inspire young girls to get excited about STEM.
Storytelling platform Playbuzz will also be supporting She Can STEM through creating custom, interactive branded stories focused on busting STEM-related stereotypes directed at women and girls. The company – whose branded solutions perform in the top 10 percent of all Digital Brand Effect campaigns globally according to Nielsen– will then distribute the stories on key publisher sites that reach the campaign’s target audience, with the goal of shifting perceptions and breaking down commonly used “girls can’t” notions.
To learn more, join the @SheCanSTEM community on Instagram or visit the She Can STEM website.
The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit www.adcouncil.org, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.
McCann Worldgroup, part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE:IPG), is a leading global marketing services company with 24,000 employees in more than 100 countries, comprising McCann Erickson (advertising), MRM//McCann (digital marketing/relationship management), Momentum Worldwide (total brand experience), McCann Health (professional/dtc communications), CRAFT (global adaptation and production), UM (media management), Weber Shandwick (public relations), FutureBrand (consulting/design), and PMK-BNC (entertainment/brand/popular culture).
The Ad Council
 U.S. Department of Commerce: Women in STEM: 2017 Update. Available at: https://www.commerce.gov/sites/commerce.gov/files/migrated/reports/women-in-stem-2017-update.pdf