According to the National Science Foundation, 66 percent of 4th grade girls like science and math, but only 18 percent of college engineering majors are female. A new Verizon commercial tackles the issue by highlighting how giving girls social cues early on could deter them from expressing their interest in math and science later.
In the video, we see a girl age from a toddler to a teenager, with her mom saying things to her like "who's my pretty girl?" and "don't get your dress dirty" while she's playing in a creek. As she gets older, she's told to be careful with a drilling tool and to hand it over to her brother instead.
The ad suggests that statements like those can end up discouraging girls from pursuing traditionally male-dominated STEM subjects in school. "Isn't it time we told her she's pretty brilliant too?," a voice over says near the end of the ad, where we see the girl putting on lip gloss in front of a science fair poster.
According to the Huffington Post, the ad is narrated by Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code – an organization that works to close the gender gap in the technology and engineering sectors by inspiring and equipping high school girls with the skills and resources they need to pursue opportunities in computing fields.
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