Research aims to advance women in science, technology

The Center for Talent Innovation released a report addressing the importance of retaining and advancing women in the science, engineering, and technology industries.

Organization: Center for Talent Innovation (New York)
Campaign
: Launch of The Athena Factor 2.0: Accelerating Female Talent in Science, Engineering & Technology
Duration
: January - February 2014
Budget
: $200,000 - $250,000 (includes research)

The Center for Talent Innovation is a nonprofit global think tank focused on talent management issues. Early this year it released a new report addressing the importance of retaining and advancing women in the science, engineering, and technology (SET) industries.

"We work with many SET companies, some of which sponsored this report," explains SVP of communications Tai Green. "They have a vested interest in this report in terms of making the case within their own organizations for investing more in their women. Our focus for this PR campaign and the research behind it was to raise awareness among leaders of global SET industry companies about barriers faced by women who are already working in these fields and the gaps we see in terms of leadership positions."

Strategy
The team created original content highlighting research findings.

Messaging helped make the business case for increased investment in the advancement of female talent in SET industries and positioned CTI and its member companies as thought leaders on the topic.

The content and other messaging was driven though social media and owned digital channels, media and blogger relations, and a launch event.

Tactics
More than 250 human resources and diversity leaders across all industries attended a launch event on February 12 in New York City during CTI’s annual summit.

Laura Sherbin, EVP and director of research at CTI, presented the findings. A panel discussion and audience Q&A followed.

The Washington Post ran an exclusive on February 12.

HuffPost Live aired a panel discussion in late February with female engineers discussing topics the research uncovered.

Throughout the campaign, business and technology reporters at top-tier news outlets, women’s magazines, SET trade outlets, and diversity and workplace outlets were targeted. Bloggers covering diversity, SET companies, and human resources were also pitched. 

An infographic and a brochure covering key findings and a highlight video of the launch event were created and posted to talentinnovation.org and CTI’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Key findings were also emailed to more than 500 organizations, including universities, elected officials, and private companies.

Companies that sponsored the research, including American Express, BP, Genentech, McKesson Corporation, and Siemens AG, promoted the findings to their internal and external audiences.

Results
Between February 12 and March 12, pages views of the research and insights section of talentinnovation.org increased 45% compared to average monthly page views, and the Athena 2.0 documents were viewed almost twice as much as any other research reports on the site.

Content reached a Twitter audience of more than 4 million.

Email metrics included a 25% open rate and a 21% click-through rate. Sherbin says both are double the average rates for similar emails.

Twenty-two earned placements ran (126 million impressions) in outlets including the San Francisco Chronicle, Inc.com, and Harvard Business Review.

"We’d never had an in-house director of communications before," Sherbin says. "This campaign far exceeded what we’d been able to do previously in terms of targeting key stakeholders, developing relationships, and media coverage."

Future
Promotion of Athena 2.0 is ongoing.

Findings from a new global report focused on women and finance called "Power of the Purse" were unveiled on May 22 at the House of Commons in London. The team will also promote this new report in the US, UK, and Asia.

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