Starting at age 5, many girls begin to develop limiting self-beliefs.1 They stop believing their
gender can do or be anything. This is the Dream Gap, and this is the year Barbie begins working to close it.
As the original girl empowerment brand, we’re proud to announce the Dream Gap Project, an ongoing global initiative that aims to give girls the resources and support they need to continue to believe that they can be anything.
Research shows that children pick up on cultural stereotypes at a very young age that suggest women aren’t as smart as men. These stereotypes are often perpetuated by the media and grown-ups who subtly reinforce them.
The self-limiting beliefs these stereotypes create can snowball to affect
a girl’s trajectory and future career choices. They may even discourage women to pursue prestigious careers, especially in fields that value brilliance.
This year, Barbie is kicking off the Dream Gap Project, an ongoing global initiative that includes funding research, highlighting positive role models, and producing inspiring content and products.
We’re committed to learning more about the Dream Gap and how we can help. This is a highly under-researched issue that needs our attention, so we’ll be funding a research program in collaboration with Associate Professor Andrei Cimpian from New York University. Globally, we’re working with local researchers to identify what issues may be holding girls back from fulfilling their potential around the world.
We’re committed to highlighting at least 10 empowering female role models each year. Because imagining she can be anything is just the beginning, actually seeing that she can makes all the difference.
We’ll also be dedicating research to identify the most effective ways to share role model stories with girls that will inspire them and their futures.
We’re committed to creating inspiring content that is centered around “teachable moments.” With content being one of the most powerful vehicles to reach girls, we’ll continue to infuse meaningful lessons across all touchpoints—addressing the issues that girls face in a unique and approachable way.
We’re committed to making products that allow girls
to play out their dreams while showing them they have choices. From our Inspiring Women series to highlighting underrepresented careers, our products encourage imagination, expression and discovery through play.
Together, we can help the next generation of girls transcend the Dream Gap.
Below are some ways you can support the girls in your life.
Join the conversation.
1Study conducted by researchers at New York University, the University of Illinois, and Princeton University.
2OECD, Education Indicators in Focus, October 2017. 3US Google Trends. 4Omnibus study by Enso.