Raising AwarenessWomen in STEM - UNESCO

This video was done for UNESCO to summarise the key findings in their latest publications called "A Complex Formula", which discussed the lack of Women in STEM professions. The explainer video was shown at the launch event of the publication and it was later put on UNESCO's YouTube channel. As an international organisation diversity among the characters was important, which is why they chose our premium storyboarding package together with the water color add on.

Script & Storyboard
Over the years, we at UNESCO Bangkok have wondered: why are so few women studying and working in STEM fields? Well, in early 2015, we found out. We launched a report: A Complex Formula. Girls and Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Asia.
Why do we need more women in STEM? In today’s fast-paced world, we face mounting global challenges – climate change, health epidemics, increased income inequality among others – all requiring new solutions for sustainable and inclusive growth. This means we need more STEM professionals, and for that we need to get more women involved.
Let’s look at the facts: Globally women are estimated to make up just 30 percent of researchers in science, technology and innovation. Only a tiny proportion of women have been awarded the most prestigious prizes – out of 199 Nobel laureates in physics for example, only 2 have been women. Yet women make up about half the world population. Something just isn’t adding up - and it tells us just how much talent and potential remains untapped.
We asked three questions: Where do we stand? What led us here? And where to from here? We found out that girls and women in STEM fields have the same passion, motivation and aspiration as boys and men. So then what's the problem?
In Asia, gender differences in STEM don’t begin in the labour market, they are already reflected in the performance of students as young as 15 years old in maths and science. In countries where boys perform better than girls in these subjects, there are far more men studying and working in STEM fields. Does this mean there could be a link between performance and participation?
Also, girls tend to perform relatively better in science than in maths, which may explain why they go for science-related STEM fields of study and occupations such as biology, chemistry and medicine as opposed to maths-oriented fields such as engineering, computer science, and physics. Could this explain why the women who are in STEM tend to stick to specific fields?
The real reason has to do with education. We discovered that to get more women interested in STEM fields, we need to first inspire them in the classroom. This means things like creative and practical hands-on activities, teacher encouragement and textbooks that are free from gender stereotypes.
Ultimately, the report tells us that in order to stay ahead of the global challenges that affect all of us, we need to change our attitudes and throw out the old way of thinking about gender roles, including which career fields are appropriate for girls and women. This starts with early and targeted intervention in education.
We have to ensure that girls and women can pursue careers in STEM with confidence, joy, a thirst for knowledge and without fear of prejudice. Only then can all of us – women and men - benefit from fresh and innovative minds to help tackle some of the mounting global challenges our world faces.
We'd love to hear what you think about our report on girls and women in STEM! How do you think we can attract more girls and women into these fields? How can we stimulate their interest in maths and science in school? Please leave your ideas in the comments below so we can get this important discussion started!