Across the beauty industry, several brands and businesses have implemented programs and campaigns to encourage young girls to seek a career in STEM. From Olay's #FaceTheSTEMGap campaign, which aims to achieve gender equality in STEM fields by 2030, to the British Beauty Council's Future Talent Programme that offers mentorship in schools, initiatives are present on an international scale. In 2023, the gender gap in STEM is significant, with women making up only 28% of the workforce. When broken down by country, the figure stands at 24% in the United States, 17% in the European Union, 16% in Japan, and 14% in India. Continuing beauty's push for change, nail art brand Preemadonna has launched a STEM-focused version of its best-selling product, Nailbot.
Nailbot is an at-home manicure device that prints art onto nails. The device is connected through a mobile app and allows the user to select a photo, emoji, or design, which is then printed onto nails. The DIY Nailbot STEM Kit offers customers ages 10 and over the chance to build their own version of the product. The kit comes with a comprehensive physical and digital curriculum guide that instructs users through the process of the assembly. The curriculum was created by women in STEM and designed to make learning easy and enjoyable, allowing young people to learn basic engineering principles and gain technical building skills.
In Q4 of 2022, Gen Z accounted for $154 million in nail polish sales. This is why Preemadonna founder and CEO Pree Walia thought the DIY Nailbot STEM Kit was the perfect way to engage young girls in STEM, as they are some of the most active and engaged consumers of nail products.
"We are thrilled to offer an immersive opportunity to learn how we made Nailbot and build a bot from the ground up," says Wallia. "Our grassroots community is an integral part of our company and co-creators of the experiences we bring to market. Building the next big thing in creative culture means co-creating with and powering this community and the categories, like nail art, that they love. By doing so, we will reinvent smart beauty and forms of creative expression."
The DIY Nailbot STEM Kit was piloted six months prior to its release with STEM educators and preteen and teen ambassadors. According to the brand, many young girls who tested the product then showed an enhanced curiosity in STEM subjects.
"I supervised a 12-year-old and 14-year-old who built the Nailbot STEM Kit over a two-hour period. They had a great time building the bot! It was fun to watch them problem solve and collaborate together, and they were ultimately successful in assembling the kit," adds Stephanie Hein, a STEM educator who tested the kit. “The Nailbot STEM Kit is an exciting product because I don't know of many STEM kits you can build and then use for a specific purpose afterward."
The DIY Nailbot STEM Kit enforces the message that young girls can be whoever they want to be, whether that means entering a STEM career in beauty or another industry or simply wishing to be creative and learn how to build products as a hobby. Wallia says Preemadonna's mission to power creative expression and "make magic happen" is an evolving process. Going forward, Preemadonna has plans to develop new STEM-based products with new levels of difficulty and engineering challenges, continuing to encourage young girls and help break down barriers they may encounter. As beauty works toward the ending of the STEM gender divide, businesses should take note of Preemadonna’s innovative design and consider what they can do to help aid the cause.
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