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IBM chops ‘Hack a Hair Dryer’ campaign after complaints of sexism

IBM's Hack a Hair Dryer campaign.
IBM's Hack a Hair Dryer campaign. IBM.com / Global News

The male-dominated STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) industries can be a tough road for women to navigate, and data shows women are under-represented in the fields.

IBM recently launched a seemingly well-intentioned campaign to get women to show off their innovation by “hacking” a hair dryer.

“Girls don’t like science? Women can’t code? Only men wear lab coats? It’s hair-raising misperceptions like these that keep bright minds out of research labs, scrum teams and engineering tracks—leaving untold innovations on the shelf,” the campaign’s page on the IBM website, which has since been removed, stated.

IBM's Hack a Hair Dryer campaign.
IBM's Hack a Hair Dryer campaign. IBM.com / Global News
IBM's Hack a Hair Dryer campaign.
IBM's Hack a Hair Dryer campaign. IBM.com / Global News
IBM's Hack a Hair Dryer campaign.
IBM's Hack a Hair Dryer campaign. IBM.com / Global News

“It’s time to blast away the barriers that women confront on a daily basis. Help us make a statement that it’s not what people think of you that matters, it’s how you think! Join the #HackAHairDryer conversation.”

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The campaign didn’t go over well, with some accusing the campaign of perpetuating sexist stereotypes.

READ MORE: EU campaign encouraging women in science backfires

READ MORE: Back to school: Why aren’t more girls choosing science?

IBM has since pulled the campaign.

“The videos were part of a larger campaign to promote STEM careers. It missed the mark for some and we apologize. It is being discontinued,” IBM said in an email statement to Global News.

WATCH: #distractinglysexy hashtag in response to comments made by Tim Hunt

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