Let’s face it; there are some things girls just get. Call it a sixth sense, female intuition or even girl power. Whatever it is, it’s undeniable. So when Coca-Cola teamed up with Women in Technology (WIT) as a host of their Girls Get IT program to challenge the girls to create the next big idea for the company, the results were bound to be phenomenal.

WIT Team Collectible
One team presents their idea at Coke HQs in Atlanta

Girls Get IT is a year-long program of WIT for middle and high school girls. WIT brings the girls to companies such as Georgia Pacific, NCR, AT&T and Coca-Cola. “We worked with Coca-Cola to develop the Girls Get IT Immersion Experience," said Amanda Hammerli, education and outreach director at WIT. "We really want girls to enter into a company and immerse themselves in that company and exit with something they have created.” 

The day began with a challenge: Create a unique idea that connects Coca-Cola with teens. Each of the 16 girls pitched an original idea – ranging from a Coke clothing line to collectible caps. After voting to determine the top three ideas, the girls were split into project teams to bring their concepts to life.

Ideas began to be refined through brainstorming, research and validation. Product creation took shape with 3D models, prototyping and brand development. Sales strategies were supported with marketing data and charts. The process went quickly – as would be expected when you’re fitting what would normally be an extended exercise into one, eight-hour day. Along the way, Coca-Cola IT professionals advised the teams, guiding the girls to the finish line.

Team photo

Finally, the moment of truth arrived as each team stepped up to the judges’ table, in Shark Tank fashion, to present their creation to a team of Coca-Cola leaders from R&D, Marketing, Innovation and IT. The judges ultimately chose a winner after lengthy deliberation, but it wasn’t an easy decision. As cliché as it sounds, they really were all winners.

“I'm just thrilled that we continue to partner with WIT to bring such amazingly talented young ladies to Coca-Cola. I think our task is to inspire and coach them, but I am completely inspired when listening to them. It is truly a pleasure to host them and be in their presence,” said Lorie Buckingham, chief development officer.

Denise Reese, president of Women in Technology Foundation, put the day in perspective. “I am overjoyed!" she said. "This is why we put in the effort and do what we do. We certainly couldn’t do this without The Coca-Cola Company. The reason we have Girls Get IT is to introduce these young ladies to the vast opportunities that exist for them within STEM... there are so many opportunities that are available. These young ladies are our future, they give us hope. Being in this room today lets me know we’re going to be good!” 

The day ended with smiles of satisfaction and the realization that the girls understood the power they have as future business women, innovators, entrepreneurs and decision makers. These girls, they get it. And they get IT.