University of Washington Psychologist Creates Geeky Barbie

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Something tells me it won’t move as fast as the Sweet Magic Kitchen. “Sapna Cheryan has spent much of her career researching the stereotypes that contribute to male-dominated science and technology fields,” Kim Eckart wrote in the UW News. “She’s traced those ideas to childhood, to the toys boys and girls play with and to the beliefs they form about who programs a computer and who feels at home in a lab.”

“So when Mattel in the spring asked Cheryan, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Washington, to advise on its most iconic toy – the Barbie doll – it felt, somewhat ironically, like an opportunity.” Cheryan apparently will serve on something that Mattel created called, are you ready for this, the Barbie Advisory Council.

“The Barbie Global Advisory Council is made up of 12 people from a range of occupations who serve a one-year term to, as the company puts it, ‘act as a collective sounding board for the brand,'” Eckart explains. Mattel picked Cheryan because of her research on diversity, stereotypes and gender gaps in STEM, all of which will ‘help inform and refine Barbie brand initiatives’ around career-themed dolls and related items, according to a statement from the company.”