With seven runs for office since 1992, Barbie has a long history of showing girls they can and should be in office. Ahead of the 2020 election, the brand is launching this new doll set alongside a full marketing program aimed at the next generation of leaders by highlighting the importance of voting and taking a stand and showing girls how to run a campaign. The set highlights dolls of different ethnicities, including a Black candidate, to remind all girls they can lead from the polls to the podium.
“Since 1959, Barbie has championed girls and encouraged them to be leaders whether in the classroom, community or someday, of the country,” said Lisa McKnight, SVP and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, Mattel. “With less than a third of elected leaders in the U.S. being women, and Black women being even less represented in these positions, we designed the Barbie Campaign Team with a diverse set of dolls to show all girls they can raise their voices. Our goal is to remove barriers to leadership by giving girls the tools to imagine and play out their future roles.”
The brand has teamed up with She Should Run, a non-partisan non-profit that provides guidance and support to women considering a run for office. While we know there are barriers to getting girls in leadership roles, 66% of adults surveyed by She Should Run* observed an increased perception in leadership potential in children who role-play.
With a continued effort on determining how to foster girls’ leadership ambition, Barbie and She Should Run are directly addressing the top barriers to girls’ leadership, which are self-limiting beliefs that are in line with what the brand seeks to address through the Barbie Dream Gap Project.
In addition to being a longtime partner, She Should Run is a recipient of funds from the Barbie Dream Gap Project and has dedicated resources in part to Help Her Lead, a course designed to support young girls, particularly girls of color, in their pathway to political leadership by giving adult role models the resources and guidance to engage and inspire them early in life. To effectively build political leadership ambition, role models can host intentional conversations about why it’s important to lead, demonstrate their own involvement through fundraising or volunteer efforts and role-play leadership activities, like giving a speech.
“With the upcoming elections and the current push for equality and representation, 2020 is an incredible time for us to inspire young women and girls to lead,” said Erin Loos Cutraro, founder and CEO of She Should Run. “Understanding the role we play in empowering our daughters is the first step—we have to have healthy conversations at home and encourage curiosity. By getting them excited today, we’re giving them the confidence to raise their voices and run for office tomorrow.”
Additional educational resources, including play ballots and printable activities, prompts for girls to write their own campaign speeches and more will be available on Barbie.com/CampaignTeam and a new “Ask Barbie” video will be live on the Barbie YouTube channel. The Barbie Campaign Team, sold as a set, is available for $39.99 from major online retailers starting today.
Mattel is a leading global toy company and owner of one of the strongest catalogs of children’s and family entertainment franchises in the world. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic brands, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends™, UNO® and MEGA®, as well as other popular intellectual properties that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 35 locations and our products are available in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and ecommerce companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in empowering children to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential.
About She Should Run
Founded in 2011, She Should Run is a non-partisan 501(c)3 that provides an approachable starting place and network for women leaders considering a future run for office and for those who support them. Their mission is to expand the talent pool of women running for office in the United States by providing community, resources, and growth opportunities for aspiring political leaders. They believe that women of all political leanings, ethnicities, and backgrounds should have an equal opportunity to lead in elected office and that our democracy will benefit from the varied perspectives and experiences that women bring to leadership.
*Full She Should Run survey results available here