(Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito/Flickr)
What better way to get your new line of ingenious engineering toys for little ladies the attention it deserves, than by using one of the most sexist songs of the late eighties and causing a media frenzy thereafter? Toy maker, Goldie Blox, sure knew how to embed their name and their products into the minds of everyone with their most recent ad, where three little girls fight for their rights to have more diverse and challenging options in their toy offerings. And their version of “Girls” is both incredibly cute and clever at the same time.
Is it any wonder that girls are less likely to go into high-paying STEM fields when the toys they grow up with are all princess-themed? Men dominate jobs and industries that reward engineering skills, as shown in PayScale's Gender Wage Gap study. Dress-up kits and damsels in distress are great, but they don't inspire an interest in high-paying skills like engineering or science like building blocks or Legos do for boys.
Goldie Blox adds a little healthy competition by finally offering toys to give young girls the option to build something, or conduct a science experiment, or simply get dirty while piquing their curiosity every once in a while. We’re simply saying that, if young girls were more aware of how fun toys that were more technical- and skill-based could be, then maybe it will inspire more to pursue a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) career. The toys in this catchy commercial might have a big impact on the severe gender disparities these industries currently suffer from.
Goldie Blox is trying to make that dream a reality and inspire the female engineers of the future with its motto “Disrupt the pink aisle.” According to Slate.com, Goldie Blox founder, Debbie Stering, who studied engineering at Stanford University, was surprised by the lack of female representation in her engineering courses during her collegiate career. Sterling admitted on the company’s website that “she never knew what engineering was until her high school math teacher suggested she pursue it as a college major,” which would later send her on a mission to create “a toy that would introduce girls to the joy of engineering at a young age.”
The company celebrates the inherent fun in engineering by allowing girls to build their own machinery, as shown in the featured commercial and celebrating ladies who use engineering skills to help others. One of the company’s most popular toys, Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine, has little girls read and build along as the story’s main character, Goldie, “builds a spinning machine to help her dog, Nacho, chase his tail.”
Goldie Blox is definitely doing its part in closing the gender gap in the field of engineering by making building fun and purposeful for the future generations of female engineers. Hopefully, the legal battle surrounding the company’s clever ad will only bring more awareness to the bigger issue at hand, that women make up a mere 11 percent of engineers worldwide. As TheGuardian.com says, “Move over Barbie. There’s a new girl in town.” Go get ‘em, girls!
For more interesting facts on women in tech, read here and here.
Tell Us What You Think
Will you be buying your little girl or niece Goldie Blox for Christmas this year? Why or why not? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below.