You can't be it if you can't see it. To change the perception of what an engineer looks like, we must show girls that they can pursue their interests and be successful in STEM. Mattel's and National Geographic's plans to create a line of Barbie dolls with occupations that women are typically underrepresented in is a move in the right direction.
Mattel announced in a statement on Thursday that it would be partnering with National Geographic to create a line of Barbie dolls focused on occupations that women are underrepresented in—like science, exploration, and research.
“Barbie allows girls to try on new roles through storytelling by showing them they can be anything and, through our partnership with National Geographic, girls can now imagine themselves as an astrophysicist, polar marine biologist and more,” said Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and general manager of the Barbie brand in a statement.
The occupations will include Barbie as a wildlife conservationist, astrophysicist, polar marine biologist, wildlife photojournalist and entomologist. The dolls and play sets come with accessories certified by “advisory council comprised of female National Geographic Explorers” that includes National Geographic magazine editor-in-chief Susan Goldberg.
“Helping people understand the world is, and always has been, the core purpose of National Geographic,” said Goldberg. “Through our partnership with Barbie, we are excited to reach kids in a new way, using the power of play to inspire our next generation of explorers, scientists and photographers.”
The company will be releasing the line nationwide in Fall 2019 and it will range in price from $14.99 to $29.99. Mattel said dolls purchased online will receive a special promotion “to encourage learning and discovery.” The Barbie Youtube channel throughout the year will also release related content.