Mattel has angered a large segment of the Girl Geek world with a book with a decidedly sexist slant that portrays Barbie as needing help from boys to successfully complete a coding project. While Mattel has apologized and “pulled” the publication and has promised a better attitude going forward, the important concept that girls can be what they dream to be and should reach for the stars is what really matters. Women in tech have been successful for years. I’m not just talking about the Marissa Mayer’s of this world. There are thousand’s (and hopefully tens of thousands) of us who have built successful tech careers, many of them, like myself, going back 20 or 30 years.
There’s been lots of activity on Barbie’s Facebook page where posts are being deleted by Barbie’s social media staff (see Posts to Page) and some still are up at https://www.facebook.com/BarbieNAD/posts/362944293876701
One of my peers has started a #realgirlgeek campaign to highlight the fact that women and girls CAN be anything they want to be, including computer programmers and IT professionals.
The White House also has recently stepped up a campaign to highlight and help and equalize the pay gap in ALL professions.
Let’s encourage our girls to pursue and excel in technical careers.
Oh yeah, for what it’s worth, here’s my remix of the horrendous Barbie, I can be a Computer Engineer.