Play and entertainment giant Mattel announced its Barbie franchise has launched a massive, global campaign to mark International Women’s Day.
The company says it has created a multi-faceted campaign that is aimed a providing more positive role models for young girls, and to support female entrepreneurs.
As part of that campaign, Mattel has announced new partnerships with “likeminded global programs,” and has released a new collection of Barbie dolls based on several real-life female role models.
“Barbie is committed to help build the confidence and reinforce the limitless potential of girls everywhere,” the company says.
Barbie Celebrates International Women’s Day with Global Campaign to Inspire the Next Generation of Female Leaders (Graphic: Business Wire)
In a statement, Barbie says it is trying to address the issue that women continue to be underrepresented in leadership roles, which then results in younger girls being less likely to step forward as leaders themselves.
“NYU’s Cognitive Development Lab research led by Professor of Psychology, Dr. Andrei Cimpian, and Assistant Professor of Psychology, Dr. Andrea Vial, … uncovered that girls aged 5-10 are less likely to raise their hand for leadership positions, such as stepping up to be in charge of a group activity, and also perceive social backlash from volunteering to take on more responsibility,” Mattel said. “However, in the final stage of the study, researchers found that when exposed to female role models, girls – and boys – are more likely to volunteer to lead a group activity. This latest finding expands on ‘Dream Gap’ research that has shown that starting at age five, girls start doubting their potential and lose confidence in their own competence.”
The research was funded by Mattel.
To address this barrier to girls’ success, 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 one 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.
“We know that children are inspired by what they see around them, which is why it’s so important for young girls to see themselves reflected in role models who’ve daringly pushed past roadblocks and overcome the Dream Gap to become the brave women they are today,” said Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls, Mattel. “This International Women’s Day, we’re proud to honor 12 global trailblazing women to help empower the next generation of female leaders by sharing their stories.”
Barbie is therefore marking International Women’s Day and inspiring girls to dream big around the world by honoring 12 global female role model with one-of-a-kind Barbie dolls in their likeness. The global lineup of role models includes:
- Shonda Rhimes (United States) – Founder of American Television Production Company Shondaland
- Ari Horie (United States/Japan) – Founder & CEO, Women’s Startup Lab and Women’s Startup Lab Impact Foundation
- Pat McGrath (United Kingdom) – Makeup Artist and Founder of Pat McGrath Labs
- Melissa Sariffodeen (Canada) – CEO and Co-Founder of Canada Learning Code and Ladies Learning Code
- Adriana Azuara (Mexico) – Founder of All4Spas
- Doani Emanuela Bertain (Brazil) – Teacher and Founder of Sala 8
- Jane Martino (Australia) – Chair and Co-Founder of Smiling Mind
- Lan Yu (China) – Fashion Designer
- Butet Manurung (Indonesia) – Founder and Director of SOKOLA
- Sonia Peronaci (Italy) – Founder of Italian food website, ‘GialloZafferano’
- Tijen Onaran (Germany) – CEO and Founder of Global Digital Women and Co-Founder of ACI Diversity Consulting
- Lena Mahfouf (France) – Digital Creator, Videographer and Author of ‘Always More’
In addition to the new line of inspirational figures, Barbie is also entering its first ever Dream Gap Project partnership with Inspiring Girls International, a charitable organization dedicated to raising the aspirations of young girls around the world by connecting them with female role models.
The partners plan to work with local schools in Spain, Italy, France, UK, Poland, Brazil, Australia and the US to deliver Dream Gap workshops featuring advice from various trail-blazing Barbie Role Models, reaching an estimated 3,500 girls in the next year.
The third program is the launch of a curated new online store that features products from diverse, female-founded brands. It will be @BarbieStyle’s first-ever collaborative shopping platform. The collection on BarbieStyle.com features a range of limited edition, giftable products in fashion, beauty and accessories – all designed to reflect the iconic aesthetic of BarbieStyle.
For each product within the @BarbieStyle Collection sold in the month of March, Mattel will donate 5% of proceeds from the sale and match the donation to the Barbie Dream Gap Project. Barbie has also signed six new licensing deals with partners who will provide products for the site, including:
- Dudley Stephens: Palmer Puff Sleeve Turtleneck
- NETTE: Dream Land Candle
- Autumn Adeigbo: Zebra Padded Headband
- Larroude: Barbie Dolly Mule and Erin Clutch
- Tenoverten: Barbie Trio: Robertson, Rodeo and Malibu
- Live Tinted: Huestick in Origin
Finally, Barbie has also signed yet another partnership deal with Boss Beauties, a female-led global initiative that creates opportunities for girls and women through cutting-edge collaborations.
The idea is to celebrate Barbie in a Boss Beauties Role Models NFT art collection that features a diverse assortment of Barbie careers, designed to empower women and girls at the forefront of technology and creativity, alongside other trailblazing figures.
The Barbie NFT will be auctioned by Boss Beauties from March 9-12 via the NFT platform OpenSea, with proceeds benefiting the Barbie Dream Gap Project.