Somewhere around middle school, girls lose interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects.
There are many possible reasons — everything from girls not really knowing what STEM jobs are, to persistent stereotypes that STEM isn’t for girls, to a lack of.
Now, the Ad Council, in partnership with companies like Google, Microsoft, GE, IBM, and Verizon, as well as organizations like Black Girls Code, and the National Center for Women & Information Technology, is launching an ad campaign to combat all that called “She Can STEM.”
Starting Monday, platforms like Facebook, Google, MTV, and Twitter will feature ads and programming including women in talking to girls about what they do.
In one ad, Bonnie Ross, who is the head of the Halo Game Studio at Microsoft, tells a group of young girls about how she wasn’t necessarily a math genius as a kid, but now she gets to build worlds with video game Halo.
“It is absolutely crucial that we inspire girls and help them understand the opportunities that a career in STEM can provide,” Ross told CNET. “Girls see themselves as creative, but often don’t connect the dots to the creativity empowered through STEM.”
In another ad, Tiera Fletcher, a structural engineer at, shows off her work designing and building parts of the rocket that could one day get humans to Mars.
“If we want women at the forefront of the next generation of STEM leaders, we must show young girls that it is possible. If they can see it, they can be it,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council, in a statement.
Jobs in STEM, particularly in information and technology, are some of the highest paying jobs available. Under the Obama administration, the White House projected that there’re about a half million open jobs in the sector. IT consulting firm Accenture projected women with tech training could earn a total of. But if they don’t pursue these jobs, they’ll miss out.
And whatsmore, there’s concern that women andwon’t have the chance to shape technologies like artificial intelligence that will impact society for years to come.
The campaign will include a website with resources for parents, teachers and the like. On social media, women from partnering companies will post younger pictures of themselves describing how they got to where they are. The idea is “if she can STEM, so can you.” She Can STEM is also partnering with YouTubers and Instagram creators to better reach girls in the middle school demographic.
“When girls don’t feel encouraged and empowered in STEM, we see serious consequences not only for girls and women, but also for the future of innovation in our country,” Sherman said.
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