See the Hidden-Camera Stunt That Convinced Companies to Support Educating Girls

Here’s what happens when young girls ambush surprised hiring managers.
May 25, 2015·
Celeste Hoang is the Film & TV Integration Editor for TakePart.

Accountant, singer, lawyer—these are the dream jobs of three girls living in India. But in a country notorious for gender discrimination and a culturally ingrained belief that only boys should be educated, many career goals are out of reach for young women.

So what would happen if these girls weren’t looked at as inferior to boys and were given the opportunity to attend school, gain work experience, and become competitive candidates in the industry of their choice? Mumbai-based Salaam Bombay Foundation, whose mission is to support underprivileged girls, brings this scenario to life in a video titled Project Resume. The foundation created the project in order to encourage large corporations in the country to help fund girls’ education.

For the video, the organization selected the three young girls, asked them what their dream jobs were, and then hired a recruitment agency to build résumés that reflect the ideal level of education and work experience they would need over the next few years. The résumés were then sent to three companies related to the girls’ career goals.

Once interviews were secured, the girls—dressed as young professionals in collared shirts and blazers—showed up for their interviews with résumés in hand, to the surprise of hiring managers at each company.

“When I walk into the room, I see these small, three girls sitting there,” says Sagorika Kantharia, a human resources employee at Radio City.

“I first thought it was a prank,” says Sulaksha Shetty of Abbott Healthcare.

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The girls then handed over their résumés, complete with college degrees, work experience, and a line at the bottom in red: “For me this résumé will never be a reality. But you can change that.”

Thirty-one million girls around the world are not in school, but the problem is especially egregious in India. About 64 percent of girls in the country drop out before completing an elementary education as a result of early marriage, forced child labor, or discrimination because they belong to marginalized communities, according to Human Rights Watch. The country also struggles with a high rate of female infanticide.

Thanks to the video, Salaam Bombay was able to successfully raise enough money in one month to fund the education of 200 girls.

These girls have taken the first step, says Shetty. Now it’s our turn.