Olay Empowers Future Female Leaders With #STEMTheGap Initiative

The #STEMTheGap initiative is focused on addressing the noticeable lack of female mentors and role models. the initiative includes three key components - a digital film, virtual mentorship, and Mentorship with vLookUp, along with STEM scholarships

Olay, in its latest edition of the #STEMTheGap initiative, is focused on addressing the noticeable lack of female mentors and role models. For this year's International Day of the Girl Child, Olay is venturing into the next phase of its decade-long program. This initiative includes three key components - a digital film, virtual mentorship, and Mentorship with vLookUp, along with STEM scholarships.

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, centred 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 recognise 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.”

Olay India introduced a digital film in partnership with filmmaker Anand Gandhi. This film explores India's history of extraordinary women in STEM fields and celebrates the contributions of luminaries such as Dr. Anandibai Joshi, Kamala Sohonie, Dr. Janaki Ammal, Kalpana Chawla, and more, recounting their inspirational journeys. It underscores the pressing requirement for additional female role models in today's STEM landscape. The film also highlights the societal prejudices that discourage young girls from pursuing STEM careers, emphasising the vital role played by female mentors.

The brand also introduced a beta version of a web-based virtual chat mentor, providing guidance and information to aspiring young girls aiming to enter the STEM world. This virtual chat mentor complements Olay's mentorship program and has been developed with the assistance of accomplished women from various STEM fields in India. These women, including Shannon Olsson, Founder & Global Director of Echo Network; Swarna Manjari, Communication Designer; Dr. Vandana Prasad, Community Pediatrician and Public Health Professional; Tarunima Prabhakar, Tech and Policy Researcher at Tattle Civic Tech and Carnegie India, among others, aim to offer users knowledge, resources, and encouragement for their journeys.

Olay, in collaboration with vLookUp, has established a platform that connects female students in higher education with online STEM mentors. This initiative marks the culmination of the mentorship journey, transitioning from virtual mentorship to enabling connections with industry experts.

In its commitment to inspire the next generation of women in STEM, Olay maintains its collaboration with LEAD to fund STEM scholarships for over 250 underprivileged girls. These scholarships empower girls throughout India by offering financial assistance for STEM education and career advancement.

Ajay Vikram, Chief Creative Officer of 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.”

Olay is dedicated to driving change and ensuring equal opportunities for girls in India. The renewed #STEMTheGap initiative by Olay is a comprehensive campaign that includes the release of the film on multiple platforms. Its primary goal is to challenge stereotypes and motivate girls to shatter barriers and pursue careers in STEM.