It’s a striking statistic: only 6.7 percent of women graduate with STEM degrees.
It’s also the kicker for a new Microsoft ad which launches the company’s annual #MakeWhatsNext social media campaign, aiming to encourage more girls to stay in STEM fields.
The ad features several teenage girls talking about their hopes to be innovators in STEM, and of course some product placement for the Microsoft HoloLens and Surface. Then the girls are told how few women graduate with STEM degrees, prompting them to repeat their determination to pursue their goals.
The ad also points to the company’s #MakeWhatsNext hashtag. As part of the Make What’s Next campaign, the company also launched a Career Explorer tool to help girls see what STEM jobs fit their interests.
The ad and the campaign will lead up to a joint workshop with Microsoft and National Geographic on March 18, connecting girls in select Microsoft Stores with women in STEM fields.
While the campaign is inspirational, it also fails to mention or address any of the core issues that are cited as keeping women out of STEM fields, primarily social and cultural issues and policies including parental leave.
The annual Make What’s Next campaign is part of Microsoft’s Youth Spark project, which aims to help kids across the globe get involved with tech and other STEM fields.