The Problem: According to a 2016 survey, women currently represent only 9% of the engineering workforce in the UK, the lowest in Europe. And sci-fi/fantasy movies are more and more eager to see diverse, empowering icons emerge from the genre.
The Approach: With Star Wars: The Last Jedi hitting theaters today and featuring a female heroine at its center, Disney and Lucasfilm started #ReyDay on Dec. 1st. Although “Rey Days” had existed unofficially – it was a day when fans would organize and show up en masse at Disney theme parks in Rey attire – this was the first studio official outreach using that hashtag. The effort meant to draw attention to Daisy Ridley’s resourceful, courageous heroine, Rey, and by extension to efforts the studios have made through A Force For Change and the UK-based Pretty Curious to encourage more young girls to pursue careers in science.
The Feel Good: Having a mega blockbuster like The Last Jedi provides plenty of momentum, so awareness around the Pretty Curious program and others aimed at introducing young women to STEM research has grown exponentially. As part of their “Pretty Curious Studio” series, the organization invited 1,000 girls the change to engage in a unique, Star Wars-themed droid workshop.