afaqs! news bureau

Olay's latest campaign highlights requirement for female STEM Role models in India

The film delves into India's history of women in STEM and lauds Dr. Anandibai Joshi, Kamala Sohonie, Dr. Janaki Ammal, Kalpana Chawla, among others.

The new instalment of Olay’s #STEMTheGap initiative aims to shed light on the absence of female mentors and role models. Ahead of this year's International Day of the Girl Child, Olay will begin the next leg of its 10-year program. It is taking steps to provide young girls with mentorship and role models through the following three initiatives:

A Powerful Film: The brand has unveiled a digital film in collaboration with acclaimed filmmaker Anand Gandhi. The film delves into India's history of women in STEM and pays homage to the legacies of Dr. Anandibai Joshi, Kamala Sohonie, Dr. Janaki Ammal, Kalpana Chawla, among others, showcasing their inspiring journeys. It highlights the urgent need for more female role models in STEM today. The film also sheds light on the societal biases that deter young girls from pursuing STEM careers, emphasising the crucial role of female mentors.

The AI-SHU Virtual Mentor: The brand has also launched the beta version of a web-based virtual chat mentor that will offer guidance and information to aspiring young girls seeking to enter the world of STEM—and a supplement to Olay’s mentorship program. This virtual chat mentor has been created with the help of successful women in different STEM fields in India such as Shannon Olsson (founder and global director of the echo network), Swarna Manjari (communication designer), Dr. Vandana Prasad (community pediatrician and public health professional), Tarunima Prabhakar (tech and policy research at Tattle Civic Tech and Carnegie India), to name a few, to provide the user with knowledge, resources and encouragement on their journeys.

Mentorship with vLookUp: In collaboration with vLookUp, Olay has joined forces to offer a platform connecting female students in higher education with STEM mentors online. Over 300 sign-ups have been recorded in the past year, with carefully chosen participants engaging in four-month mentorship programs facilitated by volunteers from P&G and partner companies. This program completes the mentorship journey from virtual mentorship to connections with experts in the field.

STEM Scholarships: To encourage future women in STEM, Olay continues to partner with LEAD, India's premier School EdTech provider, to sponsor STEM scholarships to 250+ underprivileged girls. These scholarships empower girls across India by providing financial support for STEM education and career development.

Speaking on the second leg of the campaign, Priyali Kamath, senior vice president, skin & personal care – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Procter & Gamble (P&G), said, “For decades, Procter & Gamble’s legacy skincare brand Olay has maintained a deep understanding of women's changing needs through science. At Olay, we understand the critical importance of female role models in the STEM field, and our commitment to bridging the gender gap is unparalleled. This year's theme, centered on the significance of role models and the introduction of mentorship initiative, highlights our commitment to ensuring every young girl knows that she can be the next leader in her field. Through initiatives like #STEMTheGap and our commitment to gender equality, we are working hard to double the number of women in STEM by 2030 and create a more inclusive and equitable future. We're proud to recognize and support the next generation of women in STEM who will one day be making history in their respective fields, and become role models for young girls in the future.”

Ajay Vikram, chief creative officer, Publicis Groupe, Southeast Asia, said, “There are many accomplished women leaders in STEM in India today. Yet, a ‘lack of mentors’ is often cited as a big reason why so few women make a career in STEM. This got us thinking. How do we not just celebrate the achievements of women in STEM, but actually be useful to be there at the very moment when needed, a friend and guide to any girl or woman looking for answers as they stand at the crossroads of choosing their path forward. Technology came in handy as a way to help, but we can’t wait to see how much more AI-SHU can do to help women find their way to a future of their choosing.”

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