Women are behind some of the most groundbreaking discoveries in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), from everyday items like coffee filters to life-saving inventions like vaccines.1 However, while women fill almost 50 percent of the workforce, they only make up 27 percent of the people in STEM fields.2 This number represents the “STEM gap,” as more than half of girls count themselves out of STEM careers by the time they reach college due to lack of mentorship and role models3, and the belief that jobs in STEM are not ‘for them.’
This International Day of Women and Girls in Science, OLAY enters year two of the brand’s 10-year program by announcing their second commitment of $1 million towards efforts to help close the STEM gap through four innovative initiatives to provide young girls with mentorship and role models so they can overcome limitations.
OLAY is committed to #FaceTheSTEMGap by helping to double the number of women in STEM and triple the number of women of color in STEM by 2030.
These are the four initiatives OLAY is activating for International Day of Women and Girls in Science to #FaceTheSTEMGap:
Celebrating the next generation of Black women leaders in STEM
For Black History Month, OLAY has partnered with EBONY on a commemorative print issue of the magazine — the first EBONY Magazine to hit stands since 2019. The issue will feature the ‘HBCU x OLAY STEM Queens,’ an initiative dedicated to spotlighting collegiate Black women in STEM poised to affect societal change, alongside Black women in STEM roles at P&G and other leaders in P&G Beauty. The issue will also include a retrospective on unsung Black female inventors, a letter to the next generation of STEM leaders from COVID-19 vaccine developer, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, and more. Available February 11 at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide and select HBCU bookstores and newsstands.
Forever memorializing 20th century pioneer for space exploration, Mary Golda Ross
OLAY is honoring Mary Golda Ross, the first-known Native American female engineer and the first female engineer of Lockheed Martin, by debuting a statue located at the First Americans Museum in her home state, Oklahoma, with advisement from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum to ensure the statue is historically accurate. Mary Golda Ross, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, was a brilliant engineer and trailblazer who made lasting contributions to the U.S. aerospace industry, most notably as a founding engineer of Lockheed legendary top-secret Skunk Works program. Knowing that young girls need to see themselves in these roles before they can dream of pursuing them, Mary’s story will now inspire generations of women of all backgrounds to #FaceAnything and explore STEM careers.
Providing mentorship to high school girls from women in STEM
OLAY and Million Women Mentors are hosting a virtual panel for high-school students featuring female role models in STEM fields. The panelists will discuss the journeys that led to their STEM careers, the impact of mentorship in their own lives, and offer guidance on how students can seek out mentors of their own and maintain those relationships. Panelists include Rolanda Wilkerson, OLAY Principal Scientist & Senior Director Skin Care, Vanessa Aponte Williams, Lockheed Martin Ascent Element Mission Operations Senior Manager, and more. By providing mentorship opportunities in a space where there are few available, OLAY hopes to show girls that the future of STEM does look ‘like them’ and that success is achievable, because when girls can see it, they can believe it.
Illuminating career paths in STEM
OLAY created a space-themed, limited-edition moisturizer jar inspired by its mission to #FaceTheSTEMGap. OLAY has been backed by superior science for over 65 years, and in OLAY’s labs, people of all genders work side-by-side to bring scientifically advanced products to market. Sourcing the best talent from the widest pool possible is a competitive advantage. OLAY hopes to show young girls that there are a variety of career paths in STEM that will allow them to fulfill their passions, whatever they may be.
1 USA Today, 2019
2 United States Census Bureau, 2021
3 Microsoft, as cited in The Journal, 2018
4 Smithsonian American Art Museum, as cited in CNN, 2018