Barbie is celebrating International Women’s Day by honoring over half a dozen women worldwide who are leaders in STEM with one-of-a-kind role model dolls made in their likeness. Barbie knows that seeing is believing – and access to successful female role models in STEM is essential for children to build and maintain an interest in the industry.
Women make up less than one-third of the STEM workforce,* and it’s proven that girls are systemically tracked away from STEM throughout their education.** To show girls that they can be anything, Barbie is proud to continue its commitment to recognizing female role models and highlighting careers that are historically underrepresented by women.
“Barbie is dedicated to showcasing women who are role models from all backgrounds, professions, and nationalities so that girls around the world can see themselves in careers that might not always seem as accessible,” said Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, Mattel. “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. This International Women’s Day, we’re proud to continue our work in closing the Dream Gap and reminding girls of their limitless potential.”
The Barbie brand’s lineup of global female role models includes three exceptional sisters from the United States – Susan, Anne, and Janet Wojcicki – who can serve as inspiration in a variety of STEM fields for the next generation of women leaders. The full global lineup being honored with one-of-a-kind Barbie dolls made in their likeness includes:
- Susan Wojcicki (United States): Longtime YouTube CEO
- Anne Wojcicki (United States): Co-Founder and CEO of 23andME
- Janet Wojcicki (United States): Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco
- Katya Echazarreta (Mexico): Electrical Engineer and Science Show Host
- Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock (United Kingdom): Space Scientist and Science Educator
- Prof Dr Antje Boetius (DE): Marine Researcher and Microbiologist
- Yinuo Li (China): Co-Founder of ETU Education
“It feels surreal that my family’s stories might interest and impact the lives of girls worldwide. My sisters were some of my strongest role models growing up and we all built careers based on our interest in STEM. Our parents fostered independence and a belief that we could truly be anything we wanted to be when I grew up, but most important was to pursue a passion,” said Anne Wojcicki, Co-Founder and CEO of 23andME. “I’m honored to celebrate International Women’s Day this year with Barbie alongside my family and these other powerful women in STEM leadership roles. I hope that sharing our stories encourages young girls to try something new, face something that may scare them, and look at challenges as exciting opportunities.”
“I understand firsthand that role models are essential for young girls to see what’s possible. When I was starting my career, I struggled to find inspiring stories of other women excelling in STEM – and especially in epidemiology,” said Janet Wojcicki, Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, UCSF. “I have been impressed with the increasing global relevance of Barbies for girls from all communities and have seen firsthand through my work the relevance of Barbie for sub-Saharan African and Latinx girls. I’m honored to serve as a Barbie role model this year and help children worldwide see women in places that they might want to be in one day.”
“Growing up, I didn’t imagine that I would have a career in tech,” said Susan Wojcicki, Longtime YouTube CEO. “My sisters and I found jobs we love and discovered how creative and fulfilling careers in STEM can be for women. I spent nearly 25 years working at Google and nine years as the CEO of YouTube, and it was an incredible experience. I hope Barbie’s International Women’s Day celebration will remind girls around the world that they can do anything.”
Barbie worked with Susan Wojcicki on a YouTube-produced custom “Short” content. In the video, Susan answers questions on empowerment and shares the lessons she’s learned along the way to becoming a top tech CEO.
In addition, Barbie will pay tribute to all these global role models through a special episode of the Barbie You Can Be Anything Series – an inspiring digital series featuring conversations with female role models – with Anne Wojcicki as she shares the fun of science, genetics, and DNA with kids from the Boys and Girls Club.
In a further commitment to leveling the playing field for girls globally, Barbie established the Barbie Dream Gap Project in 2018, a multi-year global initiative created to raise awareness around limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential. Since launching, the brand has committed over 1.5 million dollars through the Barbie Dream Gap Project to nonprofit partners on a mission to achieve equality by fueling education, leadership skills, and mentorship opportunities for girls.