If girls can’t see women working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—that’s STEM— how will they know these are viable career options for them? As a part of its ongoing efforts to introduce girls to tech, toy manufacturer Mattel has unveiled Robotics Engineer Barbie as its “Career of the Year.” The doll comes complete with safety goggles, a little laptop, and a bendable robot.
“For almost 60 years, Barbie has exposed girls to roles where women are underrepresented to show them that they can be anything,” Lisa McKnight, Barbie General Manager and Senior Vice President, said in a statement. “By playing with Robotics Engineer Barbie on and offline, we are giving girls a new platform for play in their imaginary world and teaching them important skills for their real world.”
Barbie isn’t just dressing for the part, though. Mattel has partnered with Black Girls Code to roll out a coding e-book called “Code Camp for Barbie and Friends.” They’ve also teamed up with Tynker, an educational programming platform aimed at teaching children how to make games and programs, to release six free Barbie-inspired coding experiences.
It’s no secret that we need more women in tech. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), globally, women are underrepresented in the field of research and experimental development, which includes STEM fields. Women represent, on average, 29% of the world’s researchers and 35% of global higher education enrolment in STEM fields.