Little girls dream big in a new short film from Microsoft, talking about their passion for curing breast cancer, cleaning up the environment and bringing fresh water to the world. Doctors, inventors, entrepreneurs—it’s easy to envision these determined, articulate and thoroughly woke kids stepping easily into any of these roles. Statistics say otherwise.
Only 6.7 percent of U.S. women and 16 percent of women globally graduate college with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees, the mini-movie tells its participants. Pulling no punches, it continues: “Odds are you won’t solve these problems.”
There’s no denying the impact of watching pre-teens full of promise and intellectual curiosity get smacked with brutal reality. It’s heartbreaking. And that’s no accident, according to Microsoft, which wanted to “inject a sense of urgency and scale” to this year’s #MakeWhatsNext campaign, dubbed “Change the Odds” and timed to International Women’s Day.
The 90-second video, sends out this plea: “Change the world. Stay in STEM.” In effect, it’s asking young women to buck the current system, recalibrate the numbers and make a mark in traditionally male fields.
This is the third year of #MakeWhatsNext, with last spring’s video focusing on female inventors. Science-loving girls in the campaign could identify Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and other famous inventors but came up empty when questioned about their female counterparts. Microsoft and m:united launched a series of digital shorts focused on specific women inventors and their work.
For the new campaign, the brand kicks off MakeWhatsNext.com, a resource for girls interested in STEM that includes an experiential tool with LinkedIn that will show youngsters how to pursue their goals across industries and social causes.
Take a peek: