The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is partnering with leading tech companies – Microsoft, IBM, Google, Facebook, Twitter, GE, Verizon — on the new public service campaign She Can STEM from the Ad Council. SWE Member Lisa Seacat DeLuca, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, is featured in ads for the campaign. She works in the Watson Internet of Things division, and she's also an inventor. DeLuca says she hopes to inspire more girls and young women to pursue careers in engineering and technology.
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. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports less than 15% of professional engineers in the U.S. today are women. 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 seeks to inspire more female talent to join the STEM workforce of tomorrow. By showcasing the accomplishments of women with the help of today’s leading tech companies and organizations, we can rebrand STEM as exciting and fun for girls.
Post Then and Now Photos
Let's inspire young girls to succeed in STEM. Use the #SheCanSTEM hashtag and post two photos of yourself. A "then" photo of yourself age 10-16, and a "now" photo of you today saying "This was me then. Now, I'm an engineer. Show girls if they can see it, they can be it." Tag three other women in STEM to do the same.
As an example, women from each of the leading technology companies, along with STEM influencers, will post pictures of their younger selves with a small 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 YouTuber Karina “Slime Queen” Garcia, Disney Star Olivia Rodrigo and 15-year-old Astronaut-in-Training Alyssa Carson have committed to amplifying the She Can STEM message.
Along with the Society of Women Engineers, She Can STEM includes seven other non-profit partners in the STEM space: Black Girls Code, ChickTech, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts, Girls Who Code, National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and the New York Academy of Sciences. These partners 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 (STEM).
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.
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 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.
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 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 also feature:
- 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
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.
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, Playbuzz and Twitter, have committed to support the campaign beginning at launch.
Through a partnership with Facebook Anthology, MTV will support She Can STEM on its social media channels. The Facebook Anthology partnership, which is slated to launch later in the fall, will feature a #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday) series where a celebrity host will visit diverse and engaging 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% 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.
About 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.