Google’s 16th Employee Gets Her Own Barbie – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

(CNN) – Barbie doesn’t let herself be pigeonholed just because she’s a woman. She has no less than 200 careers on her resume: doctor, astronaut, computer engineer, CEO and even presidential candidate.

For International Women’s Day on March 8, Mattel (owner of the Barbie brand) hopes to inspire young girls to embrace science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by honoring a select group of STEM pioneers with their very own Barbie doll.

Among them are the Wojcicki sisters – Susan (longtime CEO of YouTube), Anne (CEO of home DNA testing company 23andME), and Janet (Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco).

Susan Wojcicki announced in February that she was “stepping back” from her leadership role at YouTube after running the video-sharing platform for nearly a decade.

Wojcicki has been involved with YouTube’s parent company, Google, since its inception when the two founders worked to build a search engine out of her garage in California. She later became Google’s 16th employee and has been with the company for nearly 25 years.

The group also includes female STEM pioneers from around the world, such as Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a space scientist and educator from the United Kingdom; Antje Boetius, a marine researcher and microbiologist from Germany; Li Yinuo, co-founder of ETU Education, a school startup in China that offers more personalized education; and Katya Echazarreta, an electrical engineer who has worked on five NASA missions and the first woman born in Mexico to travel to space.

“Our parents nurtured independence and the belief that we really could be anything we wanted to be when I was growing up, but the most important thing was to pursue a passion,” Anne Wojcicki said in a statement. “I hope sharing our stories encourages young girls to try something new, face something that might scare them, and see challenges as exciting opportunities.”

Mattel said these unique dolls are not for sale and will be donated to the women who inspired them.

According to Mattel, Barbie herself has had more than 40 different STEM careers, including astrophysicist, space scientist, physician and robotics engineer. While women make up half of the US workforce in the real world, they still only make up less than a third of the STEM population.

“STEM is an area where women are severely underrepresented, and we hope that honoring these seven leaders in science and technology will encourage girls to follow their passion in this field,” Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie & Dolls with Mattel, it said in a statement.

Barbie’s STEM role models are Mattel’s latest effort to promote the achievements of women leaders in a variety of professions. For example, last year the company honored television producer and writer Shonda Rhimes with her own Barbie doll and in 2018 style icon Iris Apfel.

Mattel’s push to expand into Barbies based on real extraordinary women has helped boost the Barbie collector market, said Jim Silver, a toy industry expert and CEO of Toys, Tots, Pets & More, an industry rating website.

“The market for Barbie collectors has been strong for many years, but Mattel has chosen to bring many more role models to the market,” said Silver. “The shift has been hugely popular with their collector fans and has also garnered a lot of attention for those role models who need to be honored and often don’t get the recognition they deserve.”

Renowned British primatologist Jane Goodall also got her own Barbie in 2022 as part of the Inspiring Women Series of Barbie dolls that are based on women who have been prominent figures in history. The Jane Goodall Barbie was for sale. The Inspiring Women Barbie series, priced at $35 for the doll, is mostly sold at Amazon, Walmart, and Target stores.

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