The company that makes the popular Barbie dolls has just released three new dolls in order to encourage young girls to pursue careers in aviation. The dolls include a pilot, an engineer, and a member of the cabin crew.
The dolls are a part of Barbie’s Dream Gap project, which was launched in order to combat the fact that girls as young as five can start to limit their self-belief and doubt their full potential. The initiative aims to level the playing field for young girls and highlight role models across a number of industries.
According to the Women’s Engineering Society, just 12% of the UK engineering workforce is female, and just 4.3% of UK pilots are women.
SVP of People at Virgin Atlantic, who highlighted pilots and engineers for these new Barbies, said that they know women are currently underrepresented across a number of careers within aviation, and they also know that they can’t change this position overnight. So, it’s imperative they play the long-game and highlight to primary aged children that any job role is open.
Their partnership with Barbie marks yet another milestone in their commitment to this, she added, and she noted that it’s astounding that girls start believing that they can’t follow a certain career path from as young as five and it’s their ambition to close that dream gap.
The new dolls have been designed to show both ethnic and body diversity as well, and they have been designed to reflect real Virgin Atlantic workers with the pilot doll wearing flat shoes, which is a step away from Barbie’s signature heel. The engineer wears flat safety boots.
The dolls will be on sale on-board in Virgin Atlantic flights and in selected stores later this year.