Geena Davis Institute and Ford Teamed Up for This Inspiring Video Series Promoting Gender Equality

#ShesGotDrive stars YouTube creators who overcame struggles

(L. to r) Ford’s Chantel Lenard; YouTube stars Tara Southern, Yulin Kuang and Clara Chung; and Geena Davis
Headshot of Christine Birkner

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is partnering with Ford to combat gender inequality with a video series that tells the inspirational stories of three YouTube creators.

In the series, #ShesGotDrive, writer and director Yulin Kuang, indie pop artist Clara C and YouTube star Taryn Southern talk about how they pursued their artistic passions despite early struggles. The videos support the institute’s goals of eliminating bias and challenging stereotypes in media targeted at children.

“Each one of these content creators has a very unique story,” said Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute. “They all overcame great challenges and obstacles and ultimately were in control of their destinies and became successful entrepreneurs. They’re the epitome of what we talk about. What’s interesting, too, is the powerful influence that they have as entrepreneurs on young girls. It’s the best of all worlds.”

For Ford, the campaign furthers the brand’s efforts to support diversity and opportunities for women. Ford has supported breast cancer research initiatives for the past 20 years, and last fall, the company worked with the Girl Scouts to sponsor Girls’ Fast Track Races, which let girls learn about automotive engineering by building and racing their own toy race cars.

“It goes beyond promoting vehicles,” said Chantel Lenard, executive director of U.S. marketing at Ford. “We wanted to encourage people to pursue opportunities and be unstoppable in their lives, and we were attracted to the institute because they use research to find out where there are issues and opportunities to improve equality. We thought it was a great fit in terms of promoting gender equality and opportunities for women.”

Since the video series launched last week, several celebrities have tweeted about the videos, including Jessica Chastain, Paul Feig and Alyssa Milano, who all answered the institute’s call to nominate women who inspire them using the hashtag #ShesGotDrive.

“The hashtag resonates so much with so many different people,” Di Nonno said. “Lots of people have jumped on the bandwagon, and the enthusiasm just keeps building. These women are telling their story, their way, in their words. We want to use this campaign to encourage people to tell their stories and spotlight someone in their lives who inspires them.”

@ChristineBirkne Christine Birkner is a Chicago-based freelance writer who covers marketing and advertising.