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

McCann takes a deadpan look at tech's gender gap

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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


@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.