Girls Explain How Boobs, Menstruation and More Keep Them From Coding in Satirical Campaign

McCann takes a deadpan look at tech's gender gap

It should be obvious that your gender doesn't hinder your ability to code, yet women continue to face an uphill climb into tech careers thanks largely to unspoken stigmas against female coders. 

For its latest campaign, the nonprofit advocacy group Girls Who Code tackles this issue with satirical, delightfully deadpan humor. The new work, from McCann in New York, features young girls sardonically explaining how their boobs, their periods, their long eyelashes and more get in the way of their coding. 

"Everyday women are faced with negative bias for being women and women in technology," said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. "We feel that in addition to teaching girls to code, we need to change culture. We really wanted to spark a conversation about what we could do to create a more inclusive, well-rounded image of what a programmer is." 

Instead of creating a campaign solely geared to inspiring young girls to get into computer science, the nonprofit wanted to show how ridiculous it is to assume that girls have some sort of gender-specific obstacles to being developers. 

"There's been a lot of work done about the gender gap in STEM, but it's been more emotional and kind of encouraging girls, that if you like science you should get involved," said Susan Young, group creative director at McCann. "This campaign is a little bit more about provoking a response and reaffirming what girls already know and that is that this is really ridiculous that people think that just because you're a girl you can't do something." 

The digital effort will be released on the nonprofit's social channels today. Depending on donated media, the campaign may also appear on television.


Client: Girls Who Code
VP of Marketing: Deborah Singer
Executive Producer and Board Member: Trina DasGupta

Agency: McCann
Chairman, Chief Creative Officer, McCann XBC: Joyce King Thomas
Executive Creative Director: Priti Kapur
Group Creative Director: Susan Young
Designer: Kelly Kim
Director of Integrated Production: Aaron Kovan
Producer: Rebecca Magner
Director of Broadcast Production: Danielle Korn
Director of Talent Partnerships: Kimberly Kress
Account Director: Rosemary Calderone
Account Executive: Rachel Heiss
Global Strategy Director: Michelle Kiely
Communications Strategist: Courtney Bernstein
Director of Project Management: Stella Warkman

Production Company: Tool of North America
Director: J.J. Adler
Managing Partner, Live Action: Oliver Fuselier
Executive Producer: Lori Stonebraker
Producer: Greg Jones

Postproduction: Spot Welders
Editor: Kevin Zimmerman
Executive Producer: Joanne Ferraro
Senior Producer: Amanda Slamin

Company 3/ Method
Executive Producer: Angela Lupo
Colorist: Jamie O'Bradovich
CO3 Producer: Katie Andrews
Visual Effects Artist: Tom McCullough
Method Producer: Alex Tracy

Graphics: Craft
Director Craft Edit, Graphics: Karen Hennegan
Animation Creative Director: Steve Tozzi
Cutdown Editor: Paula Halton

Music: JSM
Executive Producer, Composer: Joel Simon 
Composer: Neil Jason
Producer: Norm Felker

Mix: Heard City
Mixer: Eric Warzecha
Mixer: Evan Mangiamele
Audio Producers: Sasha Awn, Talia Rodgers
Audio Executive Producer: Gloria Pitagorsky

Media Agency: Initiative