In partnership with Makers, Verizon has released a clever video,"Inspire Her Mind," that encourages girls to pursue science and asks why the percentage of female engineering graduates is so disproportionate to the number of girls who declare a passion for the subject.
“Who’s my pretty girl?” a mother asks her toddler, a question that introduces the video's theme: all too often, girls are raised to conform to ladylike stereotypes. As the girl grows into a teenager, she demonstrates an affinity for exploring, but is consistently discouraged from pursuing her scientific interests. The video's punchline, which demonstrates the devastating effect her parents' influences have had on her thirst for knowledge, drives the point home.
“66 percent of fourth grade girls say they like science and math. But only 18 percent of all college engineering majors are female," the ad tells us. “Isn’t it time we told her she’s pretty brilliant too?”
66 percent of fourth grade girls say they like science and math. But only 18 percent of all college engineering majors are female.
It’s a smart campaign that focuses on a subtle issue that is hardly discussed. Most PSAs intending to empower women focus on body image and the media’s gross distortion of beauty. While those messages are important, this ad presents us with a refreshing and unpredictable issue, suggesting that even the most well-intentioned parents unknowingly discourage their girls from pursuing the sciences. Verizon's efforts reinforce themes introduced by the #BanBossy campaign, although this video handles the topic much more convincingly and leaves less room for dispute.