Cannes Lions


M:UNITED, New York / MICROSOFT / 2015

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Only 11% of executives within Silicon Valley’s top 150 tech companies are women. As a member of the science & technology community, Microsoft felt accountable to address this under representation.

Research revealed that the bias prevalent in today’s tech environment stemmed from gender stereotypes introduced during childhood –– majority of high school girls were interested in science but only few went on to pursue it. They quit because they felt isolated, believing it to be a “boy’s thing.”

Our brief – Challenge the gender stereotypes and inspire young girls to remain confident in their love of science.

The platform: Recruiting 2027 –– an initiative to close the gender gap in science and technology by 2027.

Recruiting 2027 pairs young girls with female role models within Microsoft who volunteer to offer personal guidance. The initiative was introduced through a launch video that directed young viewers to an email address. Using this email, girls could directly connect with a role model at Microsoft.

The initiative sparked conversations with over 5 million views in 195 countries, and started our 12 year goal to

recruit next generation scientists to close the gender gap.

The true impact remains the responses that are pouring-in:

“My little sister who is eight loves science. Instead of spending her money on toys, she spends it on science kits. I used to be like her, but I was discouraged. We just saw your video, and she very proudly declared “That’s us!”

*Gender Diversity in Silicon Valley, Fenwick & West 2014


Recruiting 2027 is an initiative that connects young applicants with female mentors within Microsoft.

We first created a video, “Girls Do Science,” with a powerful, provocative message and a call to action inviting girls to email Microsoft@Recruitment2027.

Along with a modest paid amplification budget of $150,000, the video was seeded to influencers, educational institutions, relevant media platforms and student advocates.

Almost immediately, the video was recognized and amplified across social media, sparking the conversation and generating the momentum needed to begin the journey of closing the gender gap by 2027.

Once girls emailed Microsoft, they immediately were paired with female role models who had volunteered to join the initiative.

The female mentors responded to the girls with personal letters and kicked off long-term relationships of support and guidance.


“My little sister, who is eight now, loves science. She spends her free time finding out how things work, and with science kits. I was a lot like her, but I was discouraged. We just saw your video, and she very proudly declared “That’s us!”

The results of Recruitment 2027 are not just measured, they are felt.

Microsoft received letters from girls around the world, each one unique yet all expressing a consistent theme – frustration with the status quo and gratefulness that Microsoft has not only opened a dialogue about gender inequality but has also opened a door.


• Over 5 million total video views across 195 countries



• 250,000 earned impressions

Brand Impact:

• +17% lift in ‘Brand I Love’

• +8% lift in ‘Microsoft is a brand for people like me’

• +8% lift in ‘brand favorability

• +7 lift in ‘Microsoft is a brand I trust’

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