New Commercial Exposes The Sneaky Ways We Discourage Girls From Pursuing Science

Jessica Goldstein – Think Progress – Tuesday July 1, 2014 (originally published 25 June)

Girl inventor
IN a Youtube video screenshot from a new advertisement by Verizon a U.S. girl inventor places depictions of planets in space on her bedroom ceiling. Image: Think Progress/Youtube

How do we get young girls to stick with science? The stats, we know, are abysmal: according to the National Foundation of Science, 66 percent of fourth grade girls say they like science and math, but only 18 percent of all college engineering majors are female. There’s a fire in young girls to hypothesize and explore and discover. Where do we lose them?

In a new ad, “Inspire Her Mind,” produced by Verizon and Makers and narrated by Girls Who Code founder, Reshma Saujani, we watch a girl spend her entire childhood absorbing the well-intentioned but stealthily gendered messages of her parents—to place her value on her beauty, to not get her dress dirty, to let her brother handle the power drill—only to reach high school and, well, see for yourself.

I spoke with Saujani by phone, who said that Verizon and Makers brought the project to her. “People always ask me, what is it? Why aren’t girls opting into computer science? . . .

. . . see the video and more on Think progress . . .