In September, Olay announced a 10-year commitment to double the number of women and triple the number of women of color in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers by 2030. Women hold only 24% of these roles, a figure that represents the STEM gap.
The brand takes a step toward closing the STEM gap by helping schools intervene at a critical moment when girls’ STEM interests need to be fed in order to avoid what is known in tech as the “middle school cliff” — where girls, who were previously neck-in-neck with boys in academic performance in science, begin to lose interest at a rapid rate.
“We know that teachers play a huge role in inspiring and encouraging their students to pursue STEM,” said Lindsey Morahan, Olay North America Communications Director. “As a brand, we wanted to do something to reach young girls and boys in the classroom, at a critical time in their lives when that passion for science and technology either expands or declines. We’re hoping this program, and our overall STEM brand ambition, encourages that love of STEM to grow, especially in young girls.”
Olay solicited feedback from teachers to understand what hurdles they are currently facing as STEM educators, as about half of the country’s students are learning remotely. Science education has been particularly affected by lack of access to labs and the equipment in them.
In response, Olay scientists have created science-lessons-in-a-box that will help teachers keep science alive in their classrooms (both physical and virtual) through demonstrations, experiments, lab equipment designed for virtual learning, and messages of encouragement from real women who work in STEM fields.
Those same Olay scientists penned notes to students that are included in the science kits, and include encouraging quotes like the one below from Tori Moore, a Cosmetic Chemist at P&G.
“If you didn’t know – STEM is for everyone, and to be quite honest, a lot of FUN! New technologies are being invented every day and we need students just like you to pursue STEM studies to fuel future innovations. The world needs your creativity, passion, thought process and intellect. Let nothing deter you from accomplishing your goals and dreams.”
From now until January 15, anyone can nominate a teacher, home-schooling parent or themselves for a chance to win one of these kits in Olay’s #FaceTheSTEMGap sweepstakes, with nearly half of the kits arriving as a special drone delivery in select cities across the country.
Students, parents, friends, family and fellow teachers can visit www.olay.com/nominate to nominate a teacher who will benefit from receiving one of Olay’s science kits. Any US resident over the age of 18 who is a teacher (or parent teaching kids at home) is eligible to receive a kit. Nominations for the sweepstakes are open now through January 15.
275 deliveries will arrive the week of February 8, marking International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11. Based on demand, a second run may be considered in 2021.
Lack of role models and mentors lead girls to believe STEM is not ‘for them’. As an early intervention technique, Olay believes that if you can see it, you can be it. That belief guided three of the brand’s most recent campaigns that heroed women in STEM.
- Last year’s Super Bowl campaign was focused on making space for women, and starred a female astronaut named Nicole Stott
- A print campaign launched earlier this year starred female role models in STEM, including some of Olay’s very own scientists
- The brand’s first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float was entirely STEM-themed and aimed to show all the women and girls at home watching that a scientist, technologist, engineer or mathematician can and should look like them
With this offer to teachers on International Day of Women and Girls in STEM, Olay hopes to shine a spotlight on the educators who are STEM heroes and mentors, and to inspire more young girls to pursue careers in STEM fields.