It’s a Girl Thing! How not to sell science to women

Today, the European Commision launched a website to encourage girls to take science-related subjects at school and for women to pursue careers in science research. It seems to have massively backfired though!

Soon after launch http://science-girl-thing.eu/ was trending on Twitter as #sciencegirlthing for all the wrong reasons.

Science: It's a Girl Thing!

Science: It’s a Girl Thing!

The image portrayed by the site and the video of ‘lab barbies’, whilst attention grabbing, clearly didn’t present anything close to the real female scientists making an impact in the field.

The site featured a ‘dream jobs’ section, but failed to feature ANY jobs!

Dream jobs on Science: It's a Girl Thing!

Dream jobs on Science: It’s a Girl Thing!

After a deluge of bad press, the offending teaser video was taken down from the site and YouTube, but you can watch a version of it below.

Watch the video that so many found insulting:

Following on from the rage, Twitter users started to showcase ‘real’ women in science using the hastag #realwomenofscience and the excellent work they do without need of nail polish, high heels, or seductive glances.

So, how should more women be encouraged to take science subjects at school or follow careers in the field? Seems it is definately back to the drawing board for the EC.

About Derek Shirlaw

I'm passionate about science communication, social media, and my home country, Scotland. In particular, I have a real interest in astronomy, digital marketing, and the great outdoors.
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