Rowena Patrick
The Ad Council


June 24, 2020


Research shows that young girls like STEM subjects, but as they get older, something changes. They start feeling like STEM isn’t for them based on outdated stereotypes about the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. As girls look around for female role models, they don’t see anyone who looks like they do.

To make matters even more complex, our world is changing faster than ever before. We’ve reached a moment where it’s critical for girls to bring their diverse perspectives to STEM fields to help propel society forward. As we’re designing, creating and building our future, women in STEM have an important role to play. If we want girls to succeed in STEM, we have to show them it’s possible.

The Ad Council launched She Can STEM – a national campaign to inspire girls to embrace and explore their STEM passions – in September 2018. She Can STEM gives visibility to women in the world of STEM so girls can see they have a future in it, too. Through its website and social media presence, the campaign aims to show girls how fun, cool and unexpected STEM can be, introducing them to women changing the world with STEM and inspiring them to begin their own STEM journeys.

Working with the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s #LightASpark campaign was a natural choice for She Can STEM, as both campaigns strive to share the stories of diverse STEM role models whose careers use science, technology, engineering and math in interesting and unexpected ways. Together, our campaigns empower girls to pursue their STEM interests by breaking down outdated STEM stereotypes. When we work together to share the stories of today’s most daring, accomplished STEM stars, we can help inspire the next generation of girls in STEM.

She Can STEM has partnered with countless STEM role models and many popular influencers to help girls see how diverse, modern and exciting STEM can be. She Can STEM has become an inclusive community that celebrates diversity, learning, exploration – helping girls see that STEM truly is for them.

The best part? It’s working. Since the launch of She Can STEM, there have been statistically significant increases in girls 11-14 who:

  • Know that STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math (71% à 83%)
  • Know of female role models in a STEM field (43% à 48%)
  • Have done a STEM activity in the past 12 months – not related to schoolwork (67% à 76%)

Our work on She Can STEM would not be possible without the generous support of our many partners including Bloomberg, Google, IF/THEN – an Initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, Verizon, Black Girls Code, ChickTech, Girls, Inc., Girl Scouts, Girls Who Code, National Center for Women & Information Technology, The New York Academy of Sciences, Society of Women Engineers and so many others, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, who share with us inspiring stories of women in STEM and resources for girls who want to explore further.

To learn more about She Can STEM, follow along on Instagram (@SheCanSTEM) or visit If girls can see it, they can – and will – be it.

She Can STEM. So Can You.

About the authors

Rowena Patrick