Shonda Rhimes is getting her very own exclusive Barbie doll in honor of International Women’s Day (IWD).
The legendary TV producer and other global female role models will be celebrated during Mattel’s IWD inspired Barbie campaign. The company wants to shine a light on women who dominate in industries such as film, tech, STEM, and education. Rhimes certainly deserves the honor.
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The 52-year-old screenwriter and author has written and executive produced some of the best TV shows over the last decade, including the hit ABC series Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, and the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. Rhimes was featured on Time’s most influential people’s list twice–once in 2007 and again in 2021. The inimitable television creator also documented her inspiring journey in her 2016 award-winning book the Year Of Yes, a poignant, intimate, and hilarious memoir that explores Rhimes’s courage to step out of her comfort zone and explore the unknown.
According to Blavity, in addition to the Shondaland founder, other female changemakers who will be honored this year are “Ari Horie, founder, and CEO of Women’s Startup Lab, and Women’s Startup Lab Impact Foundation; Pat McGrath, founder of Pat McGrath Labs; and Melissa Sariffode, CEO and co-founder of Canada Learning Code and Ladies Learning Code.”
The move comes following a groundbreaking research test conducted by Mattel and assistant Professor of Psychology, Dr. Andrea Vial. The two parties found that girls aged 5-10 were less likely to pursue leadership roles. The findings suggest that this type of behavior could start in the classroom where girls appear less likely to raise their hands to lead big educational projects. Researchers noted that this could stem from social backlash or scrutiny.
In the final stage of the experiment, Mattel and Vial discovered that young girls and boys were more inclined to take on leadership responsibilities when they were exposed to female role models. The study also correlates to the company’s recently published data that suggests young girls, starting at the age of five, begin to experience feelings of self-doubt that may impact their confidence over time.
“We know that children are inspired by what they see around them, which is why it’s so important for young girls to see themselves reflected in role models who’ve daringly pushed past roadblocks and overcome the Dream Gap to become the brave women they are today,” Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Mattel, said in a statement. “This International Women’s Day, we’re proud to honor 12 global trailblazing women to help empower the next generation of female leaders by sharing their stories,” she added.
Take a look at Barbie’s International Women’s Day collection below.