A new campaign from Olay in India, #STEMTheGap, asks the important question: “Why are young girls presented with kitchen sets on their birthdays while boys are given toy robots or construction sets?” The campaign cites statistics from to United Nations saying that in India women make up a mere 14% of the workforce in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
As part of the campaign, Olay has unveiled a hard-hitting film highlighting how unconscious biases teach girls that STEM is not for them and invites people to collectively address this to #STEMTheGap.
The brand has additionally announced that it is funding STEM scholarships for girls across India in partnership with LEAD, India’s foremost School EdTech player powering 3000+ schools to deliver international standard education to 1.2 million+ students.
The campaign, done in partnership with Publicis PG ONE Singapore, says the problem is rooted in cultural barriers and stereotypical gender roles, with women often being stereotyped as caregivers or homemakers and restricted in their fields of study to teaching, nursing, fine arts, and home economics amongst the like.
While there has been an increase in the number of STEM jobs in India, in order to participate effectively in future jobs, Indian girls should be encouraged to pursue STEM education. Putting the spotlight on the STEM gap in India, Olay has launched a purpose-driven brand initiative thereby enabling more girls to fearlessly pursue STEM careers.
“When you think of a critical but challenging goal like achieving gender parity in STEM, it’s easy to think ‘but what does it have to do with me?,” said Ajay Vikram, Chief Creative Officer – Global Clients, Publicis Singapore.
“The fact is, the current gap between boys and girls lies not in their abilities, but in our minds. We can all play a part in narrowing this gap by being more aware and conscious of our everyday biases and societal blind spots, and in encouraging others to do the same. Systemic change begins with you and me.”
Speaking on the #STEMTheGap initiative, Priyali Kamath, Senior Vice President, Skin & Personal Care – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Procter & Gamble (P&G) said, “With more and more jobs becoming STEM-based, we believe it’s our collective responsibility to prepare girls for the jobs of the future. That is why we are committed to helping close the gender gap in STEM.
We are delighted to have created such a heart-warming yet thought-provoking film that stitches together different everyday scenarios to highlight the underlying gender bias that prevails in our society. Beyond this, our scholarship program with LEAD is already making a real and meaningful difference today, and we are excited to be part of driving a positive future for girls in India.”
Agency: Publicis PG ONE Singapore
Ajay Vikram: Chief Creative Officer Global Clients
Vaishnav Balasubramaniam: Creative Director
Sylvie Kinn: Creative Director
Macky Mina: Creative Director
Bruno Andrade: Senior Art Director
Shirlie Alexis Tay: Executive Producer
Donatien Souriau: Executive Vice President – Global Client Management
Ali Rezgui: Global Strategy Lead
Nazlan Nazarudin: Strategic Planner
Khatkhannag Chavalitsakulchai: Regional Account Director
Jarron Loh: Senior Account Executive
Production: Oink Films, India
Shirsha Guha Thakurta: Director
Kartik Vijay: DOP
Ramya Rao: Executive Producer