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Barbie celebrates International Women’s Day

Beauty and Fashion

Barbie celebrates International Women’s Day

She’s a Barbie girl in a 21st century Barbie world…

Barbie has unveiled a one-of-a-kind doll in the likeness of Dame Pat McGrath DBE, to celebrate female founders. McGrath is among the world’s most influential makeup artists and founder of billion-dollar beauty brand Pat McGrath Labs.

For more than 25 years, her creativity has transformed both beauty and fashion on a global scale. Alongside Pat McGrath, the brand is honouring female founders from around the world, including Shonda Rhimes (United States). Rhimes is the founder of American TV production company Shondaland, responsible for smash programmes Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, among others.

Pat McGrath:

“It is an honour having a Barbie in my likeness and I hope it inspires everyone to follow their dreams and believe that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. I want my legacy to be one of change and positivity! I am excited that young people might see my doll and believe that a love of makeup and creativity can lead to your dreams coming true.”

The toy brand has also announced its first-ever global Dream Gap Project partnership with charitable organisation ‘Inspiring Girls International’. Founded by Miriam González Durántez, the non-profit works to raise the aspirations of young girls by giving them the tools to broaden their horizons and aim high.

Together, Barbie and Inspiring Girls International will work with local schools in the UK, USA, Spain, Italy, France, Poland, Brazil and Australia to deliver Dream Gap workshops featuring advice from trailblazing Barbie role models. This year, the company has chosen to spotlight female founders after ‘Dream Gap’ research from New York University found from the age of eight, girls begin to identify key challenges in becoming leaders – including a fear of risk and gender stereotypes.

It uncovered girls aged five to 10 are less likely to raise their hand for leadership positions, such as stepping up to be in charge of a group activity, and also perceive social backlash from volunteering to take on more responsibility. However, in the final stage of the study, researchers found when exposed to female role models, girls – and boys – are more likely to volunteer to lead a group activity.

NYU’s Cognitive Development Lab research was led by Professor of Psychology, Dr. Andrei Cimpian, and Assistant Professor of Psychology, Dr. Andrea Vial, whose post-doctoral fellowship was funded by Mattel – Barbie’s parent company. These findings expand on ‘Dream Gap’ research which has shown from the age of five, girls start doubting their potential and lose confidence in their own competence.

Lisa McKnight, from Mattel:

“We know that children are inspired by what they see around them. This 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.

“Ahead of this International Women’s Day, we’re proud to honour 12 global trailblazing women to help empower the next generation of female leaders by sharing their stories.”

The Barbie Role Models honours women from around the world who are leaders in their respective industries

Pat McGrath (United Kingdom) – Makeup Artist and Founder of Pat McGrath Labs.
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.
Melissa Sariffodeen (Canada) – CEO and Co-Founder of Canada Learning Code.
Adriana Azuara (Mexico) – Founder of All4Spas.
Doani Emanuela Bertain (Brazil) – Teacher and Founder of Salsa 8.
Jane Martino (Australia) – Chair and Co-Founder of Smiling Minds.
Lan Yu (China) – Fashion Designer and Founder of the ‘Woven Land’ Project and ‘Rainbow Baobao’.
Butet Manurung (Indonesia) – Activist and Founder of Sokola Rimba.
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’.

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