The Ad Council just launched the Empowering Girls in STEM communications campaign – She Can STEM – which showcases the achievements of female role models in STEM to reinforce the idea that STEM is cool, creative, unexpected, and inspiring. By creating a brand platform that can be utilized not only by their world-class brand partners (GE, IBM, Google, Microsoft, and Verizon) but also non-profit partners (Society of Women Engineers, National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), Girl Scouts, Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code, ChickTech, the New York Academy of Sciences, and Girls Inc.), they are telling young girls that they belong in STEM. The Ad Council is partnering with VMLY&R for this event at CCNY to look for fresh multidisciplinary ideas on how to further empower young girls in STEM. That’s when you come into the picture.


Research shows that young girls like STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and math – but, as they get older, they start to feel that STEM isn’t for them based on outdated stereotypes. As young girls look around for female role models, they don’t see anyone who looks like they do. If we want these girls to succeed in STEM, we have to show them it’s possible.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, women make up half of the total college-educated workforce in the U.S., but they only constitute 25 percent of the STEM workforce. There are many existing misperceptions and stereotypes around what STEM is – girls often think that STEM is not creative, collaborative or cool, which ultimately leads them to feel that STEM is not for them. We are targeting young girls (ages 11-15) in Gen Z, as this is a generation of young kids who value independence and feel empowered. They have all the innate characteristics necessary to be the generation that shatters gender bias in STEM. They already think girls can do anything!


BoNNIe ross  |  she can stem

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To empower young girls to see themselves in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and stick with it.



To ideate a multidisciplinary solution that creates a greater emotional connection between young girls and STEM by achieving one of the following objectives:

Increasing female presence in STEM-related leadership roles

Making STEM education more attractive to young girls (11-15)

Supporting more entrepreneurial / STEM start-up opportunities

Changing perceptions that young girls are not technically inclined

Striving to make Silicon Valley more inclusive

Reducing cultural barriers that make STEM not supportive of women/girls 


Young girls, 11-15 years old who are squarely in Gen Z.

You could also focus your efforts on helping parents, teachers and/or mentors to empower young girls to pursue their passions in STEM.  



City College of New York

Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture

141 Convent Ave, New York, NY 10031


email us at YRIdeaHack@gmail.com