Research shows1 women are still underrepresented in STEM careers and even at a young age, girls say that they are least confident in their math skills in school. This means that they are missing out on potentially fulfilling and highly paid careers in the industry, where employment growth rate is three times faster than for non-STEM jobs.
Showing girls STEM careers is one of the ways Barbie is working to close the Dream Gap - the age when girls stop believing in themselves. Research shows that starting at age 5, many girls develop self-limiting beliefs and begin to think they're not as smart and capable as boys. They stop believing their gender can do or be anything. Barbie launched the Dream Gap Project in 2018, an ongoing global initiative that gives girls the resources and support they need to continue believing in themselves.
The Barbie X ESA partnership was forged after research in the UK conducted in 2019* showed four out of ten parents believed they may be holding their daughter back from entering or learning about this type of career, due to their own lack of wisdom in this area. A third did not believe there are enough positive role models in space and STEM-related fields for girls, and 70 per cent agreed that achievements of females in space needed to be given more of an equal footing to those of their male counterparts.
Barbie is partnering with the European Space Agency (ESA) and European female astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti to celebrate ‘Women in Space’ and inspire girls everywhere to see the STEM field as a viable career option.
With STEM careers still underrepresented by women, Barbie is using its platform to show girls exciting and diverse roles and activity in space for them to explore their limitless potential.
More role models! Watch our inspiring video of Samantha Cristoforetti, the only active female astronaut in Europe, meeting young girls from Germany, UK, France and Italy at the European Space Agency Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, where they spent time shadowing her and then quizzing her about her extraordinary day job.
Astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA)
Samantha Cristoforetti, 44, from Italy - is an aviator, engineer, astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA) and is currently in training ahead of her second mission to the International Space Station in April 2022, where she will be Commander for part of her stay.
Girls are 3x less likely to be given a science-related toy than boys. 2
Parent are 2x more likely to ask Google "is my son gifted?" than "is my daughter gifted?" 3
Barbie has a set of helpful STEM tips for parents and caregivers that have been written in conjuntion with Dr Elizabeth Kilbey, Consultant Clinical Psychologist working with young children and families, to assist them in encouraging young girls to aspire to a career in space or STEM-related field.
In this booklet we provide insights and activities about life of an astronaut and being in space. For children 5-8 yrs old.
This product has been developed in collaboration with the European Space Organisation (ESA) to encourage children's interest in space exploration. ESA is not involved in the production or marketing of the product. Neither the ESA nor the astronaut will receive license fees from selling this product.