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Introducing Computer Engineer Barbie! Barbie Unveils Her 125th & 126th Careers

BarbieEngineer

BarbieEngineerThis morning Mattel unveiled Barbie’s 125th and 126th career which was decided based on votes that poured in from her fans all over the world. News Anchor Barbie won the Girls’ vote and became Barbie’s 125th career in Barbie’s I Can Be doll series, but Barbie also unleashed a surprise on us – Barbie’s 126th career. According to Lauren Dougherty, director of Barbie marketing for Mattel, voting for the Computer Engineer Barbie became viral amongst female engineers and other women in the tech industry, so much so, that many, many votes also poured in for a Computer Engineer career for Barbie. Because this popular vote went to Computer Engineer Barbie, Mattel couldn’t resist but to reward Barbie with a 126th career choice as well.

Barbie designers worked closely with the society of women engineers and the national academy of engineering to ensure that computer engineer Barbie met the standards of her title. Computer engineer Barbie, which will be released in winter 2010, sports a geek chic binary code patterned tee (We’d so wear that!) and she comes equipped with everything a modern day geek girl would use. That includes a smartphone, Bluetooth headset, laptop travel bag, and last but not least – a pink laptop. No word on whether it’s a Mac or PC though. Both News Anchor Barbie and Computer Engineer Barbie are available for pre-order at MattelShop.

But Computer Engineer Barbie doesn’t just serve the purpose of answering the demand of the popular vote, it’s also designed to encourage young girls to aspire to have a career in the field of engineering one day.

“All the girls who imagine their futures through Barbie will learn that engineers — like girls — are free to explore infinite possibilities, limited only by their imagination,” says Nora Lin, President, Society of Women Engineers. “As a computer engineer, Barbie will show girls that women can turn their ideas into realities that have a direct and positive impact on people’s everyday lives in this exciting and rewarding career.”

 

94 Comments

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  1. Male computer engineer who voted, here. The gender disparity in the field is quite embarrassing, and even little things like this are worth doing to correct it.

  2. Male computer engineer who voted, here. The gender disparity in the field is quite embarrassing, and even little things like this are worth doing to correct it.

  3. It’s about time all the long-legged, hard-bodied, fashion-forward, nordic computer engineers finally got a doll like them!

    Kudos to the two of you!

  4. It’s about time all the long-legged, hard-bodied, fashion-forward, nordic computer engineers finally got a doll like them!

    Kudos to the two of you!

  5. Too bad the author of this article doesn’t realize that the reason the Engineer was voted was because of websites such as Reddit that sent over thousands of people (mostly guys) to vote for the engineer. Just thought you would like to know.

  6. Too bad the author of this article doesn’t realize that the reason the Engineer was voted was because of websites such as Reddit that sent over thousands of people (mostly guys) to vote for the engineer. Just thought you would like to know.

  7. >The gender disparity in the field is quite embarrassing, and even little things like this are worth doing to correct it.

    As another male engineer… (sorry for being redundant)

    Yes, PLEASE ‘correct’ this ’embarrassing disparity’. Wow, Barbies in the lab. Finally!

    YEAH BABY.

  8. >The gender disparity in the field is quite embarrassing, and even little things like this are worth doing to correct it.

    As another male engineer… (sorry for being redundant)

    Yes, PLEASE ‘correct’ this ’embarrassing disparity’. Wow, Barbies in the lab. Finally!

    YEAH BABY.

  9. we posted it on about 6 or 7 LinkedIN Women in technology sites, and tweeted it like crazy, and itjust took off from there!

    We are hopeful that this in some way shape or form creates awareness (early) about the incredible technology field amongst young women…where women are still out-numbered about 25-1 (on a good day).
    Thanks for giving us this opportunity, it was fantastic!

    Now where can we buy them?

    Joanne

  10. we posted it on about 6 or 7 LinkedIN Women in technology sites, and tweeted it like crazy, and itjust took off from there!

    We are hopeful that this in some way shape or form creates awareness (early) about the incredible technology field amongst young women…where women are still out-numbered about 25-1 (on a good day).
    Thanks for giving us this opportunity, it was fantastic!

    Now where can we buy them?

    Joanne

  11. i really hope more girls are inspired to become computer engineers! Classes with a bunch of guys is great fun but nothing beats partnering up with another girl in class (usually the only other girl) to make programs while decide what new gadgets or clothes we want to buy! :) I am going to buy the Barbie and frame it on my wall! :) lol

  12. i really hope more girls are inspired to become computer engineers! Classes with a bunch of guys is great fun but nothing beats partnering up with another girl in class (usually the only other girl) to make programs while decide what new gadgets or clothes we want to buy! :) I am going to buy the Barbie and frame it on my wall! :) lol

  13. There will always be a disparity in the field, any girl that looks like barbie would’nt have to work, all they have to do is marry rich! I’m an EE and I’ll tell you the field is 99 percent men and the 1 percent don’t even come close to looking like barbie!

  14. There will always be a disparity in the field, any girl that looks like barbie would’nt have to work, all they have to do is marry rich! I’m an EE and I’ll tell you the field is 99 percent men and the 1 percent don’t even come close to looking like barbie!

  15. Is it just the US that has this disparity in genders in the engineering field ? Strange since most universities are trending towards more than 50% female. I have yet to work with a female engineer in my 20+ years in the field. I think Europe is better in that respect.

  16. Is it just the US that has this disparity in genders in the engineering field ? Strange since most universities are trending towards more than 50% female. I have yet to work with a female engineer in my 20+ years in the field. I think Europe is better in that respect.

  17. Big boobs and big brains are never a well-received combination, no matter what you guys say you want. I speak from experience. And no, I don’t weight 300 pounds.

    The truth is most of you couldn’t even begin to handle working with a woman who looked even a bit like CE Barbie here, especially if she DID have the competence to do the job well.

    (Personally, my bet is that she couldn’t compile a kernel if I wrote her script to do it – she’s still Barbie after all, and let’s be honest…Barbie has never truly been an icon for women engaging in intellectual pursuits.)

    Those of you men who note and disparage the gender disparity in IT, please be part of the solution by helping your knuckle-dragging, penis-waggling co-workers (or even yourself, if you are astute and honest enough to admit you fall into this category) to evolve into treating their competent female colleagues with more respect. Especially if they happen to also be good-looking and you want to see more of them join the ranks.

  18. Big boobs and big brains are never a well-received combination, no matter what you guys say you want. I speak from experience. And no, I don’t weight 300 pounds.

    The truth is most of you couldn’t even begin to handle working with a woman who looked even a bit like CE Barbie here, especially if she DID have the competence to do the job well.

    (Personally, my bet is that she couldn’t compile a kernel if I wrote her script to do it – she’s still Barbie after all, and let’s be honest…Barbie has never truly been an icon for women engaging in intellectual pursuits.)

    Those of you men who note and disparage the gender disparity in IT, please be part of the solution by helping your knuckle-dragging, penis-waggling co-workers (or even yourself, if you are astute and honest enough to admit you fall into this category) to evolve into treating their competent female colleagues with more respect. Especially if they happen to also be good-looking and you want to see more of them join the ranks.

  19. The new generation of Computer Engineering geek-chicks are not the old man with a combover. We are chic and smart! In Idaho we’re doing talks at high schools to try and show how engineering can be cool but by then it is often too late. This is a great way to fight the stereotype early!

  20. The new generation of Computer Engineering geek-chicks are not the old man with a combover. We are chic and smart! In Idaho we’re doing talks at high schools to try and show how engineering can be cool but by then it is often too late. This is a great way to fight the stereotype early!

  21. Hey Penn Gwynne I married a girl who looks like Barbie so I think I can handle it and secondly she has the brains of barbie as well

  22. Hey Penn Gwynne I married a girl who looks like Barbie so I think I can handle it and secondly she has the brains of barbie as well

  23. CE-Barbie rocks.

    Thank you to all who made her possible.

    P.S. To the doubters…no, not exactly like Barbie, but…the hottie computer engineers most definitely exist: I’ve seen ’em. In regard to that all I can add is…go diversity drive go!

  24. CE-Barbie rocks.

    Thank you to all who made her possible.

    P.S. To the doubters…no, not exactly like Barbie, but…the hottie computer engineers most definitely exist: I’ve seen ’em. In regard to that all I can add is…go diversity drive go!

  25. I want a “Big Sister” Barbie and a “Big Daddy” Ken with a “Little Sister” Kelly, complete with bloody drills, dirty smocks, glow-in-the-dark eyes and light-up headgear. Bonus toy syringe and oozey, gooey play Adam you can squeeze out of a little bug-shaped tube. Really I like Computer Engineer Barbie… hardcore brains and cute to boot! I’m getting one for my daughter and my niece.

  26. I want a “Big Sister” Barbie and a “Big Daddy” Ken with a “Little Sister” Kelly, complete with bloody drills, dirty smocks, glow-in-the-dark eyes and light-up headgear. Bonus toy syringe and oozey, gooey play Adam you can squeeze out of a little bug-shaped tube. Really I like Computer Engineer Barbie… hardcore brains and cute to boot! I’m getting one for my daughter and my niece.

  27. Oh, I want one for my desk. And my niece. And I hope they do Computer Engineer Barbie’s friends. I have some African American engineer friends who would like her too. It’s about time Barbie and the gang got blue tooth, laptops and cell phones. And I’d like her binary tee, but I’d rather it be ascii for codegoddess instead of Barbie. 😉

  28. Oh, I want one for my desk. And my niece. And I hope they do Computer Engineer Barbie’s friends. I have some African American engineer friends who would like her too. It’s about time Barbie and the gang got blue tooth, laptops and cell phones. And I’d like her binary tee, but I’d rather it be ascii for codegoddess instead of Barbie. 😉

  29. My name is Barbara and I’m a Systems Integration Engineer. I wouldn’t be caught dead dressed like this, anywhere. I’m surrounded by men at work. It would be an unprofessional distraction to dress like this at work, much less wear shoes that can’t go into an ESD environment. I don’t know *any* geek women who would present themselves like this. It’s really insulting.

    Don’t call me Barbie.

  30. My name is Barbara and I’m a Systems Integration Engineer. I wouldn’t be caught dead dressed like this, anywhere. I’m surrounded by men at work. It would be an unprofessional distraction to dress like this at work, much less wear shoes that can’t go into an ESD environment. I don’t know *any* geek women who would present themselves like this. It’s really insulting.

    Don’t call me Barbie.

  31. “I’m an EE and I’ll tell you the field is 99 percent men and the 1 percent don’t even come close to looking like barbie!”

    I’m a software engineer and I’ll tell you the “99 percent” of engineering men don’t come close to looking like Ken!

    I’m not sure I like this whole superficial Barbie meets computer engineer idea. Barbie already creates unrealistic expectations of what a girl should be.

    I wonder what qualifications Barbie had to get a computer engineer job. Usually she has the right clothes for the job, but in the computer engineer case she seems to be dressed for her first day of high school. Given her numerous careers, I doubt she’s had time to obtain the appropriate education and training for each. I guess she picked up a little C and Assembly during her previous careers as fashion model, cheerleader, and princess. :)

  32. “I’m an EE and I’ll tell you the field is 99 percent men and the 1 percent don’t even come close to looking like barbie!”

    I’m a software engineer and I’ll tell you the “99 percent” of engineering men don’t come close to looking like Ken!

    I’m not sure I like this whole superficial Barbie meets computer engineer idea. Barbie already creates unrealistic expectations of what a girl should be.

    I wonder what qualifications Barbie had to get a computer engineer job. Usually she has the right clothes for the job, but in the computer engineer case she seems to be dressed for her first day of high school. Given her numerous careers, I doubt she’s had time to obtain the appropriate education and training for each. I guess she picked up a little C and Assembly during her previous careers as fashion model, cheerleader, and princess. :)

  33. “will learn that engineers — like girls — are free to explore infinite possibilities”

    Um, spokesperson pretty much just said that engineers and girls are not synonymous. That’s a pretty dumb thing for the PR person to say!

    Anyway, the idea of Engineer Barbie is fantastic – yay!

  34. “will learn that engineers — like girls — are free to explore infinite possibilities”

    Um, spokesperson pretty much just said that engineers and girls are not synonymous. That’s a pretty dumb thing for the PR person to say!

    Anyway, the idea of Engineer Barbie is fantastic – yay!

  35. I agree with Barbara. I’m an ordinary Programmer/Analyst, not a Computer Engineer, but I would NEVER dress like that and expect to be taken seriously at work. I’d love the ASCII shirt with MY name, for home wear. Maybe she’d look more serious in her cubicle at work? I’m thinking coffee mug chocolate bar and Princess Leia with a blaster figurine on her desk with an overhead full of programming manuals. She definitely needs some cool peripherals.

    I thought about what i thought a female computer professional should look like, and likewise all those besides myself that i worked with were temps and wearing sari’s. Argon got it right. Maybe I could get some for working purposes. I used to wear jeans and polo shirts, but I’m trying to be a woman again. but NEVER pink. (red yes, pink no)

  36. I agree with Barbara. I’m an ordinary Programmer/Analyst, not a Computer Engineer, but I would NEVER dress like that and expect to be taken seriously at work. I’d love the ASCII shirt with MY name, for home wear. Maybe she’d look more serious in her cubicle at work? I’m thinking coffee mug chocolate bar and Princess Leia with a blaster figurine on her desk with an overhead full of programming manuals. She definitely needs some cool peripherals.

    I thought about what i thought a female computer professional should look like, and likewise all those besides myself that i worked with were temps and wearing sari’s. Argon got it right. Maybe I could get some for working purposes. I used to wear jeans and polo shirts, but I’m trying to be a woman again. but NEVER pink. (red yes, pink no)

  37. I think this is absolutely awesome. At first I thought it was a joke.. but now that I know its for real I’m blown away and super excited. It’s pretty weird working alongside mostly men.. and I think this will have a huge effect on the way this career is perceived by men and women… Sure its a Barbie and the stigmas don’t exactly match up… but maybe that’s what’s charming about it. And hey – if Barbie can be a CE, any girl definitely can! Way to break the mold and make this happen everybody and Mattel. :)

    P.S. I’m with the comments above about 128th career being better suited to the circumstances and those heels not being ESD-rated. But I guess Barbie probably doesn’t need to be grounded. 😛

  38. I think this is absolutely awesome. At first I thought it was a joke.. but now that I know its for real I’m blown away and super excited. It’s pretty weird working alongside mostly men.. and I think this will have a huge effect on the way this career is perceived by men and women… Sure its a Barbie and the stigmas don’t exactly match up… but maybe that’s what’s charming about it. And hey – if Barbie can be a CE, any girl definitely can! Way to break the mold and make this happen everybody and Mattel. :)

    P.S. I’m with the comments above about 128th career being better suited to the circumstances and those heels not being ESD-rated. But I guess Barbie probably doesn’t need to be grounded. 😛

  39. p.s. I work at Intel.. we wear jeans. 😛 But girls here would probably only something this cute on Fridays… with a parka on over top because offices and labs are freezing. And I did finally give up on the heels… lasted up until two months ago. :)

  40. p.s. I work at Intel.. we wear jeans. 😛 But girls here would probably only something this cute on Fridays… with a parka on over top because offices and labs are freezing. And I did finally give up on the heels… lasted up until two months ago. :)

  41. To the person that said Barbie is not an icon for intellectual pursuits- clearly you never owned Barbies as a kid otherwise you would know she, as a character, is incredibly smart. I know she’s been a vet, doctor, astronaut, teacher, etc. I grew up an ugly duckling without many friends but still loved my Barbie dolls! Now I’m a model and huge nerd girl(though not tall, blond, or super skinny) with no problem holding my own against my male friends in our various nerd pursuits. I never thought I had to look perfect like Barbie to be successful in life. And while she may not be properly dressed for office work, maybe she works from home most days and this is her casual wear :)

  42. To the person that said Barbie is not an icon for intellectual pursuits- clearly you never owned Barbies as a kid otherwise you would know she, as a character, is incredibly smart. I know she’s been a vet, doctor, astronaut, teacher, etc. I grew up an ugly duckling without many friends but still loved my Barbie dolls! Now I’m a model and huge nerd girl(though not tall, blond, or super skinny) with no problem holding my own against my male friends in our various nerd pursuits. I never thought I had to look perfect like Barbie to be successful in life. And while she may not be properly dressed for office work, maybe she works from home most days and this is her casual wear :)

  43. I sure hope they come out with more than one ethnic group doll. Be nice if they have one for each ethnic group to encourage ALL girls…. great idea. thanks

  44. I sure hope they come out with more than one ethnic group doll. Be nice if they have one for each ethnic group to encourage ALL girls…. great idea. thanks

  45. I actually did know one software engineer that looked quite a lot like Barbie. Most of her more typical geeky male colleagues were intimidated by her. More commonly the women I’ve encountered in the field are closer to average looking, and are often Asian or Indian.

    Why doesn’t Mattel consider a doll that fits the demographics better for this one? Sure, you can be an engineer if you look like Barbie, but why not just be a supermodel? It’s gotta be much more fun.

    Try making dolls that look like the real women in the fields you’re promoting. Otherwise it’s just a wrapper around the same old sexist unattainable ideals. Boo!

  46. I actually did know one software engineer that looked quite a lot like Barbie. Most of her more typical geeky male colleagues were intimidated by her. More commonly the women I’ve encountered in the field are closer to average looking, and are often Asian or Indian.

    Why doesn’t Mattel consider a doll that fits the demographics better for this one? Sure, you can be an engineer if you look like Barbie, but why not just be a supermodel? It’s gotta be much more fun.

    Try making dolls that look like the real women in the fields you’re promoting. Otherwise it’s just a wrapper around the same old sexist unattainable ideals. Boo!

  47. From Jay:
    “There will always be a disparity in the field, any girl that looks like barbie would’nt have to work, all they have to do is marry rich! I’m an EE and I’ll tell you the field is 99 percent men and the 1 percent don’t even come close to looking like barbie!”

    “Hey Penn Gwynne I married a girl who looks like Barbie so I think I can handle it and secondly she has the brains of barbie as well”

    Yo there, EE! I’m thinkin’ your logic’s kinda broken! “Any girl that looks like Barbie wouldn’t have to work, all they have to do is marry rich!” & “I married a girl who looks like Barbie.” So therefore you’re rich? Can’t be from engineering cuz you don’t reason so good.

  48. From Jay:
    “There will always be a disparity in the field, any girl that looks like barbie would’nt have to work, all they have to do is marry rich! I’m an EE and I’ll tell you the field is 99 percent men and the 1 percent don’t even come close to looking like barbie!”

    “Hey Penn Gwynne I married a girl who looks like Barbie so I think I can handle it and secondly she has the brains of barbie as well”

    Yo there, EE! I’m thinkin’ your logic’s kinda broken! “Any girl that looks like Barbie wouldn’t have to work, all they have to do is marry rich!” & “I married a girl who looks like Barbie.” So therefore you’re rich? Can’t be from engineering cuz you don’t reason so good.

  49. Most of her more typical geeky male colleagues were intimidated by her. More commonly the women I’ve encountered in the field are closer to average looking, and are often Asian or Indian.

  50. Indeed a very good read! Very informative post with pretty good insight on all aspects of the topic! Will keep visiting in future too!

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