Mattel announces launch of three new Barbie dolls – pilot, engineer and cabin crew – in partnership with Virgin Atlantic

Mattel has launched three new Barbie dolls which have been created to encourage young girls to pursue careers in aviation.

The new dolls – a pilot, engineer and member of the cabin crew – are part of Barbie’s Dream Gap Project, launched to challenge the limiting beliefs which can occur in girls as young as five. The initiative aims to level the playing field for girls globally and highlight role models across a number of industries.

With females making up just 12 per cent of the UK engineering workforce, according to the Women’s Engineering Society, and just 4.3 per cent of UK pilots, Virgin Atlantic has highlighted these roles for the new launch.

‘Playing the long game’ with job roles for women

Nikki Humphrey, SVP of People at Virgin Atlantic, said: “We know that women are currently underrepresented across a number of careers within aviation. We also know we can’t change this position overnight. Therefore it’s imperative we play the long-game, highlighting to primary aged children that any job role is open.”

“Our partnership with Barbie marks another milestone in our commitment to this. It’s astounding that girls start believing they can’t follow a certain career path from as young as five and it’s our ambition we close this dream gap. By working with Barbie, it allows us to speak directly to our future generation of aviation workers, whether they aspire to be cabin crew, engineers or pilots.”

Barbie swaps heels for safety boots

Designed to show both ethnic and body diversity, the dolls have been designed to reflect real Virgin Atlantic workers with the pilot doll wearing flat shoes – a step away from Barbie’s signature heel – and the engineer wearing flat safety boots. All three dolls will be on sale on board Virgin Atlantic flights and in selected stores later this year.

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