Women in Science: Marketing Fail

The European Union’s Research and Innovation team has recently begun an initiative to increase the number of girls interested in entering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. It’s a great idea, but so far their execution has been less than ideal. They released this video, which if you choose to watch it, shows a couple of dolled-up girls dancing around while ‘science-y’ things (e.g. beakers, safety goggles, test tubes) pop up with ‘girly’ items (e.g. lipstick, designer sunglasses):

As this article points out, the people behind this commercial had perfectly good reasoning to justify it, but hadn’t done their research. Girls exposed to this kind of STEM promotion decreased their self-proclaimed ability in math and science and declared lower interest in pursuing those careers. Personally, as I watched the video, I was turned off from science, and I’m actually a scientist! So hopefully the EU has some other ideas on the backburner, because it seems that this one isn’t their best.

How would you try to get women & girls interested in science?

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