Thursday, January 20, 2022

#STEMTheGap – OLAY launches multi-year initiative to help close the gender gap in STEM careers in India

The leading skincare brand sheds light on gender biases in a heart-warming film & is funding STEM scholarships for girls across India in partnership with School EdTech major LEAD



18 January 2022, Mumbai: Why are young girls presented with kitchen sets on their birthdays while boys are given toy robots or construction sets? Are our unconscious gender biases holding girls back? According to United Nations, in India women make up only 14% of the workforce in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Leading skincare brand Olay is a brand of science, harnessing ground-breaking ingredients and formulations to offer products backed by superior science for healthy looking, beautiful skin. Olay is simultaneously proudly also a brand of women - amongst Olay’s 220 scientists globally, 50% are women. Olay believes the world needs more women in STEM and believes it’s time to change the STEM gender gap equation in India. 


Rooted in cultural barriers and stereotypical gender roles, women are often stereotyped as caregivers or homemakers and restricted in their fields of study to teaching, nursing, fine arts and home economics amongst the like. Our gender biases and stereotypes are holding women and girls back. While there has been an increase in the number of STEM jobs in India, in order to participate effectively in future jobs, Olay believes we should be enabling more Indian girls to fearlessly pursue STEM education and careers.


With the launch of its meaningful initiative #STEMTheGap, Olay India is committing to help close the gender gap in STEM. The brand has unveiled a hard-hitting film highlighting how our unconscious biases teach girls that STEM is not for them and invites us to collectively address this to #STEMTheGap.


Link to the film:


Beyond this, the brand is taking action to support girls’ STEM education in India, launching its STEM scholarship program for girls in partnership with LEAD, India's foremost School EdTech player powering 3000+ schools to deliver international standard education to 1.2 million+ students. Since 2021, Olay is sponsoring tuition fees, as well as tablets and data packs for girls across 6 states in India.


Speaking on the #STEMTheGap initiative, Priyali Kamath, Senior Vice President, Skin & Personal Care – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Procter & Gamble (P&G) said, “Olay is a brand deeply rooted in science, and with 50% of our scientists being women, we know that girls have the potential to become amazing scientists. With more and more jobs becoming STEM-based, we believe it’s our collective responsibility to prepare girls for the jobs of the future. That is why we are committed to helping close the gender gap in STEM. We are delighted to have created such a heart-warming yet thought-provoking film that stitches together different everyday scenarios to highlight the underlying gender bias that prevails in our society. Beyond this, our scholarship program with LEAD is already making a real and meaningful difference today, and we are excited to be part of driving a positive future for girls in India. Together, let’s #STEMTheGap.”


Sumeet Mehta, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, LEAD said “Olay’s scholarships are extremely meaningful and will enable the girls to pursue their passions and interests. Our mission at LEAD is to take excellent education to every child by transforming schools, especially in small towns. Our partnership with Olay will further allow us to create value for students and democratize learning irrespective of where one goes to school. The early years are foundational for girls, and we are proud to be partnering on this cause to make a positive difference and work towards closing the gender gap in STEM.”

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