The dolls are meant to inspire young girls to consider careers in STEM fields, which are widely recognized as under-representing women.
Representation matters because it has a profound impact on how individuals perceive themselves and their potential. When people see others who look like them or come from similar backgrounds as them in positions of power, influence or success, they find it easier to believe that they too can achieve similar goals. It is essential to have a diverse representation of women in all areas of society, including media, politics, business, science and technology. Mattel, the parent company of Barbie, is celebrating a group of STEM professionals on the occasion of International Women's Day by showing how representation matters.
Barbie is empowering young girls to achieve their career goals.— Feisty is proud to be a Democrat! (@FeistyLibLady) March 12, 2023
Barbie has had 200 careers including doctor, engineer and CEO.
This year Mattel honored 7 women in STEM careers with their own Barbie doll.
Women represent only 27% of STEM workers in America.#EqualityNow#Fresh pic.twitter.com/9eMk3HgAFd
Among the seven women being recognized is Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a space scientist and presenter of BBC One's "The Sky at Night and CBeebies Stargazing." Dr. Aderin-Pocock, who was recently named the new chancellor at the University of Leicester, is being honored as a Barbie Role Model. She told BBC, "I hope my doll will remind girls that when you reach for the stars, anything is possible." When she was young, Dr. Aderin-Pocock developed a strong interest in space travel and has since dedicated her career to inspiring young girls to see how fascinating space science can be.
She told the outlet, "I want to inspire the next generation of scientists and especially girls and let them know that STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] is for them. These subjects are just too important to be left to the guys because, through science, you can literally change the world." The doll inspired by her has a dress decorated with stars, resembling the night sky and it comes with a telescope accessory that symbolizes her work exploring the depths of space using the James Webb telescope. Dr. Aderin-Pocock added, "When I was little, Barbie didn't look like me, so to have one created in my likeness is mind-boggling. It's such an honor to receive this doll that is celebrating my achievements."
Kelly Philp, marketing director at Mattel UK, said, "We know that globally STEM is a field widely recognized as under-representing women, so as a brand, Barbie is committed to showing girls more STEM careers. In the UK, research tells us women make up only 26% of the STEM workforce, so showcasing an exciting career in space science like Dr. Maggie's is just one way we are inspiring girls to think differently about their career opportunities."
Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, Mattel, also said in an official statement, "STEM is a field where women are severely underrepresented, and our hope is that honoring these seven leaders in science and technology will encourage girls to follow their passion in this field."
I am happy to announce that my sisters and I were chosen by Barbie as one of this year's female leaders in STEM. I want to inspire girls to dream and believe they can pursue any dream they have. Thank you to @mattel & @barbie for working to inspire girls everywhere! pic.twitter.com/NTCCrJteLm— Anne Wojcicki (@annewoj23) March 7, 2023
Anne Wojcicki, Co-Founder and CEO of 23andME, is also among the honorees along with her two sisters, Janet Wojcicki, Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, UCSF, and Susan Wojcicki, Longtime YouTube CEO. Other than that, Katya Echazarreta, Electrical Engineer and Science Show Host from Mexico, Prof Dr. Antje Boetius, Marine Researcher and Microbiologist and Yinuo Li, Co-Founder of ETU Education, are also being honored by Mattel for their contribution to STEM.