Despite comprising less than one-third of the STEM workforce, women have made great strides toward pursuing careers in fields such as astrophysics, space science, medicine and robotics engineering. However, research shows that girls are systematically tracked away from these professions throughout their education.
To continue the mission of inspiring young girls worldwide to be bold in chasing their dreams and advocating for greater representation of female voices in typically underrepresented fields, Barbie is honoring a group of extraordinary women. Each will have a one-of-a-kind Role Model Doll made in their likeness for International Women’s Day on March 8.
Every doll celebrates the accomplishments of extraordinary women, including three exceptional sisters, Susan, Anne and Janet Wojcicki. Susan is the longtime CEO of YouTube, Anne is the co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, and Janet is a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at University of California, San Francisco.
To promote greater access to successful female role models in STEM fields, these dolls will inspire children to build an interest in science and encourage the pursuit of areas in which women are traditionally underrepresented. Alongside the Wojcicki sisters, this year’s global lineup also includes:
- Katya Echazarreta, an electrical engineer and science show host from Mexico who is also the first Mexican-born woman to travel to space
- Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a space scientist and science educator from the U.K.; she now heads the University of Leicester as its chancellor
- Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius, a marine researcher and microbiologist from Germany who has won awards for her work on climate issues and biodiversity
- Li Yinuo, a speaker and author on growth, education and leadership topics; she co-founded ETU Education (ETU stands for Education Training Unit) and has a degree in molecular biology
Anne Wojcicki says that her sisters were her role models growing up and that their parents encouraged them to be whatever they wanted to be, as long as they were passionate about it.
“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,” she said in a statement. “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.”
Barbie will also honor these global role models through a special episode of the Barbie You Can Be Anything Series, an inspiring digital series that features conversations with female role models.