Control engineer Barbie--almost



April 14, 2010

About a year ago I offered a suggestion that for Barbie’s 50th birthday, Mattel should create a control engineer Barbie to encourage girls to go into industrial engineering. They didn’t pick up on my suggestion, however, they now seem to be a step closer.

In today’s Chicago Tribune, columnist Melissa Harris says that Mattel is bringing out a computer engineer Barbie as part of its “I can be…” series. In the design process they consulted with Betty Shanahan, CEO of the Society of Women Engineers to make sure they got it right. For example, she told them that engineers don’t wear lab coats.

Shanahan thinks this is a great idea. “Little girls don’t hear the word ‘engineer,’ never mind think of it as a career option,” she says in the article. This profession beat anchor woman, environmentalist, surgeon, and architect in voting for possible portrayals.

The new doll is scheduled for release in the fall. She wears stylish glasses and carries a pink laptop. This is Barbie after all.

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