2017 Glass: The Award for Change

MICROSOFT GIRLS IN STEM

ClientMICROSOFT EUROPE
Category A01. Glass
TitleMICROSOFT GIRLS IN STEM
Product/ServiceNO SPECIFIC PRODUCT - THIS IS AN INDUSTRY FOCUSED CAMPAIGN
Entrant CREATION London, UNITED KINGDOM
Idea Creation CREATION London, UNITED KINGDOM
Idea Creation 2 KRC Cologne, GERMANY
PR CREATION London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production CREATION London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production 2 KRC Cologne, GERMANY
Credits
Name Company Position
Kate Steele Creation EVP, EMEA
Julian Lambertin KRC Head of Strategy & Analytics
Stephanie Johnston Creation VP
Marta Saez Creation Associate Director
Brian Tjugum Creation MD Social Impact
Sophie Easterby-Smith Creation Senior Account Manager
Kathleen Noonan Microsoft Europe Director of Microsoft Philanthropies & Education Communications for Europe

Creative Execution

Working with the London School of Economics we conducted focus groups in nine European countries and produced a quantitative survey that was used in Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and the UK. The output was a first-of-its-kind, scientifically rigorous benchmark study to statistically prove the key drivers influencing girls’ interest in studying STEM and pursuing a related career. To promote the insights and engage critical stakeholder communities, we developed a pan-regional integrated communications campaign, working with in-market Microsoft communications teams to customize content and story angles, delivering local launches in 12 countries that leveraged earned, owned, social and digital. Our detailed whitepaper included actionable recommendations for policymakers, educator and business leaders; supported by a series of engaging visual social assets, inspiring videos of European women who work at Microsoft sharing their experiences; and customizable, online data visualizations.

Through 23 in-market events, we directly engaged thousands of young girls, teachers, women leaders, government representatives, and journalists. We reached over one billion people through earned print and broadcast media across Europe, including major international titles such as the Financial Times, CNN and BBC. The campaign has had an immediate, positive impact, catalyzing discussions between Microsoft and European policymakers, government ministers, NGOs, academics, young women, parents and teachers on actions we can take to help more women pursue their passion for STEM. The most humbling conversations of all have been those we’ve had with thousands of girls who tell us they feel truly excited about the opportunities that studying STEM could open for them. The findings will continue to inform our programs and investments: and we hope we are opening the door to a brighter, more innovative future for young women in the technology industry.

We set out to understand two things: define the ages when girls and young women engage and disengage in STEM subjects. Second, uncover the root issues as to why gender inequality then arises. Despite a huge volume of published research, no one could authoritatively say at what age young girls lose interest in STEM and why; and consequently, there was a critical deficit of actionable insight. So to help catalyse action, we undertook the most in-depth study on girls in STEM in Europe to-date. We surveyed 11,500 girls in 12 European countries to gather scientifically rigorous benchmark data on attitudes to and interest in STEM. The findings were then published in a white paper with actionable recommendations for the target audience of policymakers, educators and business leaders; supported by a pan-Europe integrated communications campaign to engage stakeholders.