Microsoft Marks International Women's Day With Ad Urging Girls to 'Make What's Next'

Can't Name Any Female Inventors? Microsoft Has Answers

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Microsoft on Tuesday is introducing a campaign themed "Make What's Next," part of an effort to encourage girls to enter tech fields that's timed to coincide with International Women's Day.

An ad longer than two minutes is slated to run during shows including "Good Morning America," "CBS This Morning" and "Today." It pictures young girls talking about why they love science but failing to name any inventors besides men. A montage of creations by women follows. The spot, embedded above, was created by M:United.

Naming a famous female inventor might be difficult for many people. Only men show up in Google's carousel search results when the term "famous inventor" is searched.

According to the World Economic Forum, the gender gap in computer science won't close until the year 2133.

"We want girls to know that there are women out there that have made amazing things in whose foot-steps they can follow," said Kathleen Hall, corporate VP, global advertising at Microsoft, which has a U.S. workforce that's 27% women. "We want to connect them with resources that can help them. They can do, be and invent anything they want."

Microsoft is encouraging girls to participate in its YouthSpark programs around the world, and has also created an online hub for inspiration.

As part of its initiative, Microsoft also announced a patent program that will give select female inventors support in patenting their ideas. The idea is to address the reality that women hold only 7% of patents and just 15% of inventors in the U.S. are female.

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