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Leadership News Briefs

Barbie Launches Global Campaign to Inspire the Next Generation of Female Leaders

This International Women’s Day, Mattel, Inc. is proud to announce that Barbie is partnering with entrepreneurs and role models to inspire the next generation of female leaders and dreamers. Through a multi-faceted campaign to increase access to female role models, support female entrepreneurs and partner with like-minded global programs, Barbie is committed to building the confidence and reinforcing the limitless potential of girls everywhere.

Throughout the world, women continue to be underrepresented in leadership roles. In fact, NYU’s Cognitive Development Lab research was led by Professor of Psychology, Dr. Andrei Cimpian, and Assistant Professor of Psychology, Dr. Andrea Vial. Mattel funded Dr. Vial’s post-doctoral fellowship. She 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. Additionally, she found that girls perceive social backlash from volunteering to take on more responsibility. 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. As a result, they begin to lose confidence in their own competence.

Collection of Barbie Role Model dolls to celebrate female leaders
Image courtesy of Mattel/Business Wire

Empowering female leaders of tomorrow

To address this barrier to girls’ success, Barbie established the Barbie Dream Gap Project in 2018. This multi-year global initiative raises 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.”

How Barbie is celebrating female leaders and role models

Barbie is marking International Women’s Day and inspiring girls to dream big around the world by:

Honoring 12 Global female role models to remind girls they can be anything by shining a light on women who are leaders in their respective industries of tech, wellness, STEM, education and more 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’
Entering our first-ever global 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.
  • Together, Barbie and Inspiring Girls International will work with local schools in Spain, Italy, France, UK, Poland, Brazil, Australia and the US to deliver Dream Gap workshops featuring advice from various trailblazing Barbie Role Models, reaching an estimated 3,500 girls in the next year.
Launching a curated shop from diverse, female-founded brands as @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 products reflect the iconic aesthetic of BarbieStyle.
    • For each product within the @BarbieStyle Collection sold in the month of March, Mattel will donate 5 percent of proceeds from the sale and match the donation to the Barbie Dream Gap Project.
    • The collection will feature products from partners:
      • 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
Celebrating Barbie in NFT art collection in partnership with Boss Beauties, a female-led global initiative that creates opportunities for girls and women through cutting-edge collaborations.
  • A Barbie NFT featuring a diverse assortment of Barbie careers will be part of the Boss Beauties Role Models NFT collection, 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 between March 9-12th via OpenSea. Proceeds will benefit the Barbie Dream Gap Project.

Learn more

Visit Barbie.com/DreamGap for more information on the Barbie Dream Gap Project. Follow @BarbieStyle on Instagram to view the curated collection and visit BarbieStyle.com to purchase.

About Mattel

Mattel is a leading global toy company. It is the owner of one of the strongest catalogs of children’s and family entertainment franchises in the world. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, American Girl, Thomas & Friends, UNO, Masters of the Universe, Monster High and MEGA, as well as other popular intellectual properties that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming and digital experiences, music, and live events.

We operate in 35 locations. Our products are available in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and e-commerce companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in empowering children to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential. Visit us online at mattel.com.

About Inspiring Girls International

Inspiring Girls International is a charity, founded by Miriam González Durántez. The organization raises the aspirations of young girls around the world by connecting them with amazing female role models. Inspiring Girls International introduces young women to the full variety of careers and options in life. Above all, it inspires girls to aim high. For more information visit www.inspiring-girls.com.

About Boss Beauties

A woman-led global initiative, Boss Beauties creates opportunities for women and girls through mentorship programs and scholarships powered by collaborations that empower those at the forefront of technology, leadership, and creativity. Lisa Mayer is the founder of Boss Beauties. For ten years, through My Social Canvas, Mayer has made it her mission to equip the next generation of women to design the life and career of their dreams. They have built a global community of Gen Z women in the US and 15 countries worldwide. Their work has had involvement from Apple and Verizon, as well as inspiring women mentors ranging from Olympians to leaders in fashion and entertainment including collaborations with Rolling Stone, Hugo Boss, Mattel and more.

Check out Lioness Magazine’s ultimate list of International Women’s Day events!

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