As the world's leading tech association, CompTIA actively advocates for tech policies on state, federal and international levels. When the association wanted to champion a movement that would transcend borders and resonate with an audience beyond its member base, CompTIA turned to Walker Sands for a creative campaign idea and a dazzling digital execution.

130

Stories in the media

35,000+

Video views

10,000+

Unique monthly visitors to the website

Project recognition

Strategy

Walker Sands and CompTIA decided to take on a pervasive problem in tech: The stark underrepresentation of women in leadership positions across the industry.

The primary goal of the campaign was two-fold:

  • Unearth the real reasons for the gender imbalance in IT.
  • Motivate parents, teachers, role models and young women to change the status quo.

Rather than simply document the problem, we decided that the best approach would be to hear directly from young people about their perceptions of technology and the career choices ahead of them.

Execution

To gather both quantitative and qualitative data, we led four focus groups with girls age 10 to 17 and conducted an online survey completed by 200 girls and boys in the same age range.

Our research yielded three key findings:

  • Girls tend to lose interest in pursuing careers in tech as they get older.
  • While STEM classes can introduce girls to new and important concepts, they don’t do enough to stimulate girls’ interest in IT careers.
  • Industry professionals, parents and teachers are the people who can most effectively encourage more girls to pursue tech careers.

With these findings in hand, CompTIA needed a compelling campaign that was interactive, shareable and inspiring for key audience groups: industry professionals, parents, educators and young women. Walker Sands conceived of #MakeTechHerStory to galvanize more young women to make their mark on the information technology industry.

The digital hub of the campaign lived at MakeTechHerStory.CompTIA.org, where visitors could watch and listen to girls as they talked about technology, careers and what an IT professional looks like. For in-depth research into what must change to inspire more girls to pursue careers in IT, visitors could also download an elegantly designed 30-page e-book with full findings and strategies for improvement. Finally, site visitors were invited to “reimagine Rosie” using a tool designed and developed by Walker Sands Digital. To see what it looked like, visit the #MakeTechHerStory design portfolio.

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The interactivity of the #MakeTechHerStory campaign initiated high organic engagement across social media. After layering in a paid component of the social media strategy, CompTIA and Walker Sands reached young women via CompTIA’s profiles on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Using the hashtag #MakeTechHerStory, Walker Sands nurtured conversations across social media networks, blogs and grassroots organizations to capture even greater momentum.

Results

The #MakeTechHerStory campaign generated the following results:

130

Stories in the media

35,000+

Video views

10,000+

Unique monthly visitors to the website

800+

E-book downloads

600,000+

Social media impressions

3,000+

New followers

Combining old-fashioned research with digital storytelling techniques, the #MakeTechHerStory campaign continues to encourage more girls to explore careers in IT as it advances the mission of CompTIA.