Olay shows how bias pushes girls out of STEM

With a campaign by Publicis Singapore, the brand launches an initiative to close the gender gap in STEM careers in India.

Olay shows how bias pushes girls out of STEM

A number of painful incidents of gender bias add up to a strong film that introduces what Olay calls a multi-year initiative to close the gender gap in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers in India.

The film, by Publicis Singapore's PGOne unit, repeatedly shows parents, teachers and other adults thoughtlessly enforcing a nonsensical belief that science and technology are not proper things for girls or young women to take an interest in.

The company cites United Nations statistics that say women make up only 14% of the workforce in STEM in India. The film announces that Olay will be funding STEM scholarships for girls across India in partnership with Lead, an edtech player that serves more than 3,000 schools and more than 1.2 million students.

Priyali Kamath, senior vice president, skin and personal care for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, at Procter & Gamble:

Olay is a brand deeply rooted in science, and with 50% of our scientists being women, we know that girls have the potential to become amazing scientists. With more and more jobs becoming STEM-based, we believe it’s our collective responsibility to prepare girls for the jobs of the future.

Ajay Vikram, chief creative officer for global clients at Publicis Singapore:

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?’ 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.”

The campaign has been launched on connected TV and digital platforms and will be further amplified through various other media, the company said.

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