Over the past few days, I have noticed there is a buzz on social media around a video featuring Noodle from the Gorillaz and Jaguar Land Rover, which encourages young women to get involved in STEM ('science, technology, engineering, and math') through its 'Race to Innovate' campaign.
Corporates are making an increased effort to inspire girls to get into male-dominated industries. Tech companies and accelerators already do a great job at this; there is a constant attempt to close the gender gap in the tech industry. It is exciting to see that large companies are trying to bring more girls to STEM industries.
Having worked in two male-dominated industries, banking and tech, I know how difficult it can be as the female minority. Female role models, like Noodle, are pivotal in the career choice decisions of many young women. In the video, Noodle drives the Formula E car around the track and proceeds to get out of the car with a great sense of achievement having set the track record.
In my opinion, the most interesting and impactful part of this campaign is that you do not know who is in the driver's seat until the end of the video. Before seeing Noodle get out of the car, I assumed the driver was male. This is what made the video so memorable for me.
Last week, Emma Watson made a speech for her He for She campaign with UN Women, which focuses on closing the gender gap. She put her views succinctly and said "I feel gender equality is as important as any of the other goals that we are here to discuss and actually if anything it's even more important because it intersects with every single other issue that we face." I agree with Emma wholeheartedly; education and career choices are at the forefront of gender equality and corporates can help to encourage young women to enter typically male-dominated industries.
Corporates have the resources and strength to educate women and inspire them to pursue their dreams. Additionally, they have the ability to change the way women are treated in the workplace. If we want to see change at a large scale, we need to speak about these gender imbalances. This is a dialogue that needs to be had. Not only do women need to feel empowered, but they also must be welcomed into the typically male-dominated industries.
Jaguar Land Rover's PR Director, Fiona Pargeter, recently said, "By 2022 we're facing a shortfall of 300,000 skilled engineers in the UK alone. It is our responsibility to change this future by inspiring young people to help invent the future."
This innovative, creative campaign shows us that corporates have huge potential to influence the future of gender equality in the workforce.
Check out the video here.