This International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11, 2022) Olay, as a brand rooted in science, reinforces its 10-year commitment to #FaceTheSTEMGap in collaboration with Actua and Walmart Canada. As part of this initiative, Olay is donating $50,000 to Actua’s National Girls Program, and raising the voices of prominent women in science, technology, engineering and math-based careers to help young women and girls envision a future in STEM.
According to 2019 data provided by Statistics Canada, women only make up only 23 per cent of science and technology positions held by workers aged 25 to 64 nationally. And while there are multiple factors that contribute to the gender gap in STEM, Olay’s most recent initiative tackles two core issues: representation and communication. A study by the National Academy of Engineering found that when girls were asked if they wanted to be engineers, they were twice as likely as boys to say no. But when asked if they wanted to design a safe water system, or use DNA to solve crimes, girls answered yes.
The recent collaboration between Olay, Actua and Walmart Canada aims to address the types of careers girls can take on in STEM, as well as the impact of those roles through visibility and education: “As a brand, Olay is scientifically-driven and its products are formulated by female technicians, engineers, mathematicians, and scientists – like myself – who are able to use their skillset towards developing the very skincare items so many women across Canada use each day,” says Dr. Rolanda Wilkerson, Ph.D., Olay Science Communications Fellow. “It’s an honour to be able to share my story and encourage the next generation of female scientists to consider a path like my own.”
Olay’s donation will directly fund Actua’s National Girls Program – a twenty-year-old program that annually engages over 10,000 girls nationwide in programs that build the skills and confidence needed to fulfill critical roles as future leaders in STEM. In addition to its initial commitment, Olay is releasing a limited-edition STEM jar available exclusively at Walmart Canada. For every jar sold, $15 will support Actua’s National Girls Program.
“We’re grateful to be partnering with Olay to continue our work towards closing the gender gap in STEM,” says Jennifer Flanagan, CEO, Actua. “For over two decades Actua has been working to remove barriers to girls and women so that they can pursue education and careers in STEM. It is essential that women at the table in these fields in equal numbers to ensure the products, services and solutions they produce are representative of our population. We are passionate about the many opportunities that can be fulfilled through a career in STEM, and we will continue to show our future leaders how they can change the world through science.”
In the coming months, Olay and Actua will also profile female leaders who took the path to STEM success including Dr. Rolanda Wilkerson and Jennifer Flanagan, as well as Natalie Panek, aerospace engineer, Dr. Pamela De Lendeu, research scientist, and Amal Jina, engineer at Walmart Canada, across olay.ca/STEM and actua.ca.
The limited-edition STEM jar of Olay Retinol24 is available now participating Walmart Canada retailers and Walmart.ca while supplies last.