Barbie doesn’t just come with a Malibu Dream House anymore. She comes with career ambitions and a dream job, too.

Mattel, the toy company behind the Barbie brand, introduced its latest career woman, Robotics Engineer Barbie, on Tuesday. The company hopes that the doll, who comes with her own robot, will inspire young girls’ interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.

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"For almost 60 years, Barbie has exposed girls to roles where women are underrepresented to show them that they can be anything. 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,” Lisa McKnight, general manager and senior vice president of Barbie, said in a statement.

In the US, women account for 47% of the workforce, but hold less than one-quarter of STEM jobs, according to the Department of Commerce. The field is still considered traditionally male and stereotypes surrounding STEM studies and careers often discourage girls from pursuing such roles, the National Bureau of Economic Research found.

Women of color are particularly underrepresented in the STEM field, according to the data from the National Science Foundation. In 2015, women of color held about 11% of science and engineering jobs. Robotics Engineer Barbie comes in four ethnicities and hopes to challenge those norms.

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To create Robotics Engineer Barbie, the design team worked with a female professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to ensure that she had true-to-life and lab appropriate attire, McKnight told Glamour.

But Mattel wants girls to do more than just dream. 

The company will be giving away dolls at robotics workshops run by nonprofit Black Girls Code and is releasing an e-book called “Code Camp for Barbie and Friends,” which introduces kids to basic coding concepts. Mattel also launched six free Barbie-themed coding experiences in partnership with Tynker, a game-based platform that teaches kids to code, yesterday.

Robotics Engineer Barbie is one of several career-focused dolls Mattel has released over the years and is part of the company’s campaign to feature #MoreRoleModels, and people are loving it.

Global Citizen campaigns in support of gender equality and equal access to education. You can take action here to help combat biases that hold girls back from pursuing their dreams.


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Barbie Just Got a New Career as a Robotics Engineer

By Daniele Selby