Mattel has unveiled Barbie Judge as its 2019 Career of the Year doll, coinciding with a partnership with GoFundMe to raise the money for a project to help girls fight self-doubt when thinking about their career aspirations.
The partnership is timed to land on the one year anniversary of the launch of the Barbie Dream Gap Project, which itself pledged $250,000 in donations through the Mattel Children’s Foundation earlier this year.
In a post via its GoFundMe page, Mattel said: “Recent research shows starting at age five, many girls begin to develop limiting self-beliefs. They stop believing their gender can do or be anything.
“This critical time in girls’ development when they begin losing confidence is called the Dream Gap. The Dream Gap creates barriers for girls to reach their full potential, which can negatively affect and inhibit their future trajectory or career choice.”
Groups to benefit from Mattel’s initiative include She’s the First, which will fund education for 300 girls in Peru, Nepal, India, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Ethiopia for one year, and She Should Run, a group that provides guidance and support to women considering a run for office.
“Closing the Dream Gap is a multiyear initiative that cannot be done alone,” said Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and GM of Mattel’s Barbie and dolls division.
“We are pleased to be taking the next step by partnering with GoFundMe.org and selected nonprofit organisations that have powerful vehicles in place to reach girls at a global scale.”
At the same time, Mattel has now launched its Barbie Judge as part of its Career of the Year programme in which Mattel selects a topic to highlight underrepresented careers for girls.
“We learned that only 33 per cent of sitting US state judges are female,” said McKnight.
The Barbie Judge doll arrives with four different versions in a range of skin tones and hairstyles.
“Our hope is that girls will enjoy playing with the dolls and imagine themselves protecting the rights of others,” added McKnight.