Through New Year's, we'll be counting down the best work of the year in TV/Film/Branded Content, Print/Outdoor/Design and Interactive/Integrated as our picks of the day.
At #7 in our Interactive/Integrated category, Microsoft put action behind its message of supporting girls and women in technology by creating a program that would give female inventors help in patenting their ideas. The idea was part of a broader initiative supporting girls in tech fields, which included a campaign themed "Makes What's Next," created out of M:United as well as its YouthSpark programs designed to provide access to tech education for kids around the world.
Microsoft has launched 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.
A two-minute-plus ad is slated to run during shows including "Good Morning America," "CBS This Morning" and "Today" 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, as well as shorter online films celebrating female inventors Ada Lovelace, Tabitha Babbitt and Yvonne Brill, was created by M:United. Nanette Burstein of Hungry Man directed.
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, 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.
A version of this story originally appeared at AdAge.com.