Some of my favorite PSAs are about the amazing (and worthy) movement created to help girls succeed in the 21st century. I first wrote about a few (The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Girl Effect, Girl Scouts and Day of the Girl) here back in 2012 just a few months after I had my own baby girl. You could say I have a predisposition to be more in tune with these messages, but no one can miss them these days—they are everywhere. Through the collective efforts of many leaders and nonprofits, there is now a groundswell of support for empowering girls and women of all ages to be successful in life, in business and relationships.
Why all this fuss about girls? Our society and our world would benefit from girls being more confident and that given opportunity and tools, they can make a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. Here are some interesting stats:
- “Millions of girls around the world face barriers to education that boys do not.” – GirlRising
The One Campaign says it best in their Poverty is Sexist 2016 Report: “Nowhere on earth do women have as many opportunities as men. Nowhere.” But it often starts with education. If girls have education, they can break the cycle of poverty. There are so many nonprofits, like She’s the First, that believes strongly in the education link. It makes you wonder, what if more girls made it to high school?
- Only 4% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are women.
The #BanBossy campaign says: “By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.” What if women were more represented in male-dominated leadership positions?
- Only 14% of US engineers are women and only 27% of those in computer science and math are women.
Girls Who Code is committed to closing the gender gap in technology. They say, “Tech jobs are among the fastest growing in the country, yet girls are being left behind. While interest in computer science ebbs over time, the biggest drop off happens between the ages of 13-17.” Similarly, GoldieBlox toys are designed to “designed to develop early interest in engineering and confidence in problem-solving.” What if women were women were encouraged and empowered to be interested in male-dominated careers?
- Women are nearly 75% more likely to have suffered from depression and are about 60% more likely to report an anxiety disorder.
If girls were better equipped to handle social and emotional issues, they are more likely to succeed in all aspects of life (for example, especially if they find themselves a single mother at some point in their life). The NYC Girls Project believes that girls who believe “their value comes from their character, sills and attributes – not their appearance” have higher self-esteem and the benefits are many, like they view themselves as capable problem solvers. They are creating an after school education campaign to help girls 7-12 find their inner strength. Check out this long list of other local girls groups doing the same thing.
What I love is that all of these organizations aren’t just spewing off facts, stats, and how-tos in their marketing messaging. They are giving viewers something to believe in, not just “do.” The most successful nonprofit marketers are able to use the platform of PSAs to inspire a movement and build a brand, like all of these organizations are doing for female empowerment. We evangelize this PSA philosophy with all of our clients because we think that is the best way for nonprofits to build new supporters.
I wouldn’t be able to blog about this very important movement if I didn’t show a new PSA from one of my favorite girl-focused nonprofits, Girl Effect. This is definitely worth the 2-minute watch. As the UN Foundation says, “Every girl has the right to go to school, stay safe from violence, access health services, and fully participate in her community.” This video illustrates “what happens when stigmatized women—those facing that invisible barrier—are encouraged to take control of their own destiny.” (quote from Fast Company) Enjoy!