Verizon’s STEM Campaign Teaches Girls They’re Pretty Brilliant, Not Just Pretty

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It’s no secret that women only make up half the workforce in the United States, yet they hold only 25% of jobs in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math. There are some great organizations out there today who are encouraging girls to foster a love of these industries from a young age, and even the US government has dedicated time and money to the cause.

A recent addition to that list is a major US telecommunications network. Verizon’s STEM Campaign called ‘Inspire Her Mind’ is all about teaching girls they are more than just pretty, they are pretty brilliant. They have teamed up with Makers Women to release a series of videos, messages, and resources to encourage young female minds that taking up a career in a stem field means they are going to do some pretty amazing things in the world.

The campaign is specifically targeting parents of young girls, and possibly teachers, that the onus falls on them to spur these girls on in the right direction. They want these authoritative figures to know that the words they have have a huge impact on the self-esteem and future decisions of a young girl.

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“Our words can have a huge impact. Isn’t it time we told her she’s pretty brilliant too? Encourage her love of science and technology, and inspire her to change the world,” says Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code whose organization is teaming up with Verizon. Reshma is also the featured voice in the campaign video (below).

The campaign was born out of research that shows there’s a significant drop-off in women interested in these fields between childhood and adulthood, from 72% to 55%.

On the Verizon website dedicated to this campaign, there are various videos and facts from women who have established stem jobs, which can give parents and their daughters a valuable insight as to what to expect in these industries.

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Verizon have really done the hard work with this campaign, proving some in-depth insight into some of these facts and figures. Each of these quotes below are taken from research studies, and the links are provided on the homepage of the website, for those who are interested in learning why the push for girls in stem industries is vital to our economical growth.

The only way we’ll end up with more women in science is by using playtime to spark her imagination for subjects like astronomy and physics.

Doing it for them tells girls they can’t do it on their own. Introduce technology early and one day more than 7% of tech startup executives will be women.

When they’re shown what engineers do, 76% of girls get interested in engineering.

Only 10% of parents encourage girls to try engineering. Using tools and creating things inspires her to build her own future.

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We recently interviewed New York teenager Laura Willson, 16, who was part of a summer program that Girls Who Code offered.

“I think girls are intimidated when it comes to technology careers because they feel that they are not smart or good enough to work in the field,” she told us, echoing yet again the importance of teaching girls from a very early age that stem industries aren’t just a male interest.

We love that toy companies like Goldie Blox, and even LEGO (who just announced a new STEM female figurine line) are making a huge push to encourage girls to get involved in these fast-growing industries. An honorable mention goes to Mercy Academy girls school in Kentucky whose slogans and campaigns for the new year enrollment were “Life’s Not a Fairytale” and “You’re Not A Princess” which were all about encouraging girls to use their minds and prepare for a more realistic future by working toward industries such as science, tech, engineering and math.

We whole heartedly agree with the Verizon campaign, girls ARE pretty brilliant, and we hope an initiative like this will be a significant cultural marker in the lives of young girls, who will grow up challenging the societal boundaries and stereotyped representations of women that we are all sick of.

37 Comments

  1. Thank You, Asha, for featuring, My daughter, Laura Willson in your articles for all to read. She has an amazing blog, and she is a girl who codes. Please feel free to share this link with all to read. She is my middle child of 8 children. Below is the link to her blog. http://lauralynnwillson.blogspot.com/

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