By: Bianca Velasquez
“Women in science” has always been something considered “uncommon”. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is mostly seen as an overwhelmingly male field, which is even perpetuated in popular media with the depiction of socially awkward young men (read: geeks) dominating most STEM-related areas of study.
We also see this reflected in real life as only 35% of STEM students are women as of 2021. Before young girls can get discouraged by the seemingly male-dominated field, Mattel has decided to honor six women on the front lines who have contributed to our understanding of medicine and helped fight against unjust systems around the world.
Among these six women are Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz, a healthcare worker from the U.S.; Dr. Amy O’Sullivan, an emergency room nurse; Chika Stacy Oriuwa, a Canadian doctor who advocates against systemic racism in healthcare; Dr. Jacqueline Goes De Jesus, a biomedical researcher from Brazil; Dr. Kirby White, an Australian doctor and protective gown developer; and last but definitely not least, Professor Sarah Guilbert, an Oxford university professor who helped develop the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
“Barbie recognizes that all frontline workers have made tremendous sacrifices when confronting the pandemic and the challenges it heightened,” said Lisa McKnight, senior vice president of global head for Mattel’s Barbie brand. “To shine a light on their efforts, we are sharing their stories and leveraging Barbie’s platform to inspire the next generation to take after these heroes and give back. Our hope is to nurture and ignite the imaginations of children playing out their own storyline as heroes.”
Hopefully this initiative will launch a wave of future leaders in the STEM field among today’s youth.