There’s a new recruit for the engineering profession. It’s Barbie the computer engineer. Today, on Engineering Works!
Most people don’t see much connection between dolls and engineers. It’s not obvious. But there is one. It’s Barbie.
After a 125 incarnations as everything from nurse to TV news anchor, in Barbie’s 126th career, she’s an engineer. A computer engineer. She’s properly geeky with a pink laptop, smart phone, pink-framed glasses, Bluetooth earpiece. She’s cool. And if you look closely, you’ll see that the binary code on her laptop screen spells, BARBIE. Barbie. Slick. The doll’s packaging and store displays are designed to emphasize the idea, too.
It’s easy to chuckle a little at Barbie as computer engineer, but Mattel is serious. The idea was chosen by a vote of Barbie fans, and the voting went viral among women engineers. Mattel did its homework on this one, too. They worked with the National Academy of Engineering and the Society of Women Engineers to hone Barbie’s image. The company wants to make money on it, of course. But it also set out to present engineering to young girls as a cool and creative career. One they should consider.
That’s a good message and one young girls need to hear. Women in the United States receive only about 11 percent of bachelor’s degrees in computer science and 15 percent in computer engineering. We need to fix that.
So, go get ‘em, computer engineer Barbie. See everybody next time.
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