Mattel, Inc., the makers of Barbie, takes advantage of playtime to tell young girls everywhere that they have the ability to shape their future.
The world-famous doll company has recently released its newest career set, Barbie 2020 Campaign Team. The much talked about collection features four diverse dolls whose various roles make up a winning campaign, including a candidate, campaign manager, fundraiser, and voter. Yes, even they even included a voter! The set aims to expose girls everywhere to public leadership roles and show them the importance of a political team working together to win.
“Since 1959, Barbie has championed girls and encouraged them to be leaders whether in the classroom, community, or someday, of the country,” says Lisa McKnight, SVP and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, Mattel, in a press release. “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.”
Barbie first rolled out its career set in 1992 and has since featured many leadership roles that girls can aspire to become when they grow up.
Barbie 2020 Campaign Team was launched ahead of the 2020 election alongside a full marketing program that highlights the importance of voting and taking a stand while teaching girls how to run a campaign. At the center of the racially-diverse collection is a Black candidate that reminds all girls that they can lead from the polls to the podium.
And if you think that the brand’s commitment to nurturing young girls to take up leadership roles ends here, think again. Mattel, Inc. partnered with She Should Run, a non-partisan non-profit that provides guidance and support to women considering a run for office, to directly address the top barriers to girls’ leadership, which are self-limiting beliefs that they are not as capable as boys.
Mattel and She Should Run first collaborated back in 2016 with the release of the President and Vice President Barbie set. Since then, the two have consistently worked together to develop materials and programs that inspire girls to take political leadership roles.
She Should Run is also a recipient of funds from the Barbie Dream Gap Project–a project released in 2018 with the mission of helping girls pursue their dreams by properly addressing their self-imposed limitations. The brand has also 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.
“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.”
In addition to the playset, Barbie is also launching educational resources, like play ballots, printable activities, and prompts for girls to write their own campaign speeches among many others on Barbie.com/CampaignTeam.