Girls all around the world have their own stories of struggle and success, and HP wants to make sure they get heard. For International Women’s Day, the company produced a six-minute short film about a young girl in Calcutta who represents a whole lot of girls worldwide — someone bursting with potential that just needs to be discovered. Maybe she doesn’t have the best classroom decorum, but she’s got a teacher who knows talent when she sees it, and that turns out to be a magical combination.
“Paro” is sweet (and, yeah, you bet it brings that A+ product placement game), but the short film is just a precursor to HP’s efforts in 2018 to help empower young girls all around the globe. It’s no mistake that the girl featured in the film ends up being an amazing storyteller, because amazing stories are exactly what HP is looking for. They’re partnering with Girl Rising, an organization advocating education for girls worldwide by producing telling stories of empowerment using every medium available. Starting in April, HP and Girl Rising will run a storytelling competition through June, encouraging girls to use anything available to them, from computers to the pen, paper, and colored pencils the young girl uses in the short film!
HP also plans to provide technology and support to young female leaders worldwide alongside the organization Women Deliver, in an effort to accelerate a number of advocacy programs dedicated to the education of women and girls. HP also co-sponsored an event with Black Girls Code late last month to celebrate the upcoming release of A Wrinkle in Time and host the Warriors Who Code Challenge, a coding session encouraging girls of color to create apps around the themes of self-discovery and self-esteem.
What seems to be most interesting about HP’s approach to global women empowerment this year is that while they’re encouraging the use of technology as a tool, they aren’t only focusing on girls who are trying to get into STEM. That’s certainly part of it, but with “Paro” and their partnership with Girl Rising, they’re also embracing creativity and storytelling. Everyone involved is trying to help girls have the freedom to realize their dreams, regardless of what those dreams include, and we’re definitely here for that. STEM will still be a big part of all of these partnerships, though — by the time the girls of today grow up, I don’t think there are going to be very many jobs that don’t require some serious tech know-how!