CSR Videos Changing Perceptions & Stereotypes
Our latest CSR films were produced for technology company Avanade to help change the perception of technology and encourage more young people to consider a career in the sector. Whilst encouraging a wider and more diverse scope of applicants the films aim to particularly encourage girls into the industry. We produced two films for different audiences, one for schools and one for community outreach; they were similar in terms of content but distinctly different in terms of emphasis of delivery. Both films demonstrate the wide range of careers in the technology sector and show the variety of young people that Avanade partners with through trusts, schools, colleges and universities. Through internships, work experience, and mentoring, Avanade are helping young people choose their career path.
The films raise awareness of the variety of roles at Avanade and showcase exciting roles such as those in the innovation, creativity and design departments. With these films we wanted to break down the stereotype of people working in technology. The opening sequence for both films shows a stereotypical ‘geek’ sat at a computer, wearing a sci-fi t-shirt and eating pizza. The following montage of shots then shows a range of Avanade employees working across a variety of exciting roles. The first film will be used in school presentations and at school careers days and careers fairs. This film aims to show technology as a creative, attractive and dynamic career path for young people and specifically redress the gender imbalance in the industry. We filmed Avanade employees visiting schools to encourage more women and ethnic minority students to pursue a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). The students and parents we interviewed were very inspired to get involved in science and maths and try to change the stereotype of the technology workplace. Here's the final film:
The second film is helping Avanade showcase both internally and to potential new recruits the outreach work they are doing in the community. It also helps to enhance the employer brand, inspire applicants and encourage retention by showing how the company is engaged with communities and young people. The balance of participants in the film subtly reinforces the diversity and inclusion message. The film looks at Avanade’s engagement and partnerships with young people and expands to show Avanade’s support in offering young people opportunities for work experience along with advice to help prepare them for the working environment. Here's how Avanade are changing the perception of technology:
So why is it important to change the perception of technology and break down these stereotypes? While schools are working hard to encourage more girls to study STEM subjects, according to the BBC, women only hold 17% of technology jobs and 8% of engineering jobs. A report from Race for Opportunity found that students from a Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background only accounted for 19% of students studying STEM related subjects. The Wise campaign study researched women’s participation in STEM in the UK from classroom to boardroom. The positive news is that more young people of both sexes are studying STEM subjects and at GSCE girls are as likely as boys to do so. However, female participation drops off at ‘A’ Level, particularly in Physics, and very few females take up STEM apprenticeships. This reduces the talent pipeline going into the STEM workforce - only 13% of all STEM jobs in the UK are occupied by women. Fewer women in the workforce means STEM industries struggle to find women for senior roles (fewer than 1 in 10 of STEM managers are female) or board appointments. It also means fewer women setting up STEM businesses - which in turns limit the potential for economic growth.
Avanade is working to change these statistics by promoting diversity in their workplace; it's great to produce these films to help them engage with communities and encourage more young people to follow a career in the technology sector. As stereotypes are broken down the message is getting out that working in technology is not sitting at a desk on your own; it’s about people transforming organisations, making a difference to customers, employees and the business. As Avanade invests in communities and opens up new and rewarding career pathways, a more diverse workforce will bring huge benefits to both the STEM industries and to the UK economy. We really enjoyed working with Avanade and it was great to receive positive post production feedback from them; Amy dos Santos, Senior Specialist Marketing & Comms at Avanade said:
"We asked Purple Flame to help us communicate the great activity we were doing on our Outreach programme. They helped us to clarify the different audiences and messages, and recommended creating two videos. After working closely with us on the brief, objectives, theming and scripting they were quick to turnaround the proposal into reality, filming our employees in two locations. We are very pleased with the output, they have captured all the key messages in an engaging way and we are proud to share these films with employees, future recruits, and our customers".
We were delighted that the films won a 2014 EVCOM Clarion award in the Strategic Communications category. At the awards ceremony Chris Skinner from Avanade said "Video is such a powerful medium to change perceptions, we've had a fantastic take-up from a wide variety of audiences".