I couldn’t help but share this story. As most people know my eyes light up at the opportunity to talk about self image and self esteem. But recently, another topic has been lighting up my eyes- the topic of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and women. I love everything about it. I love that everyone is trying to help girls pursue math and science opportunities. I grew up loving math. I could have spent more time on math than anything else. I loved doing math in chemistry class. I struggled in school just like the next student but I had one teacher, Mrs. Reynolds, in third grade who changed my perspective on science. She made me love learning and everything about it. Over time, I wish I could have had that same structure. I work for a company that shares a passion for STEM and making opportunities for women. While learning more about it, I realized how much I wish I would have had that push to pursue more with math or science. I am more grateful than ever for writing and what I do now but math has always interested me. I read stories all the time about how we are trying to help kids pursue their dreams and I could not be happier about that.

I ran across the following article the other day on Huffington Post about something Microsoft did.

Science isn’t just for one gender — just ask the girls in Microsoft’s new ad.

Despite their young ages, they all have impressive scientific accomplishments under their belts. But they also admit that society hasn’t created a world where their academic interest is easily accessible for students like them.

“[Girls] might really love science, but they might be … afraid people might think, ‘Oh, don’t boys do that? That’s a boy thing,'” one girl explained.

Microsoft’s ad — which was launched in honor of International Women’s Day on Sunday — addresses the gender gap when it comes to students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). According to the ad, seven out of 10 girls are interested in science, but only two out of 10 will pursue a career in a related field.

The Obama administration is trying to make science an accessible subject for every student. According to the White House, “President Obama knows that we simply cannot, as a nation, expect to maintain our run of ingenuity and innovation … if we do not broaden participation in STEM to all Americans, including women and girls and minorities.”

More brands are aiming to empower women through their messaging, experts claim. Last June, Verizon produced an ad similar to Microsoft’s focused on encouraging girls to pursue science-related careers. The video — which focused on society’s expectation that girls are to be pretty, but not curious about scientific pursuits — asked, “Isn’t it time we told her she’s pretty brilliant, too?”