Monday, February 15, 2010

Barbie becomes Computer Engineer


source:http://www.bit-tech.net/news/bits/2010/02/15/barbie-becomes-computer-engineer/1

Author: Gareth Halfacree
Published: 15th February 2010

The cause of equality in IT careers got a boost this month from a somewhat unlikely source: Barbie.

As revealed on the official website (warning, it's a PDF), every little girls' favourite vacuous blonde's 126th career is that of Computer Engineer - complete with "a shiny laptop" on which to do some 1337 code hacking.

Interestingly, the change of career appears to have given Barbie myopia, as she now comes equipped with "stylish pink-frame glasses" which she hasn't needed in any of her previous 125 careers - but stereotypes aside, Computer Engineer Barbie comes equipped with everything a modern geek girl needs: "a Barbie® smart phone, fashionable laptop case, flat watch and Bluetooth earpiece," alongside the aforementioned laptop making her "ready to conquer the day's tasks on the go or from her desk."

For those who are afraid that Barbie's journey into the world of computer science would mean she would have to give up on her noted sense of fashion, good news: Computer Engineer Barbie comes dressed in "a t-shirt featuring binary code and [a ] computer/keyboard icon along with a pair of black knit skinny pants," designed to be "representative of a real computer engineer."

Better yet, those deciding to buy Computer Engineer Barbie get "a special code to unlock exclusive online game content on Barbie.com," in order to "further experience the reality of being a computer engineer" - which is to say, playing on-line Flash games.

In all seriousness, the latest Barbie to come out of the Mattel factories has the thumbs-up from some pretty influential people in the computer science industry: no less than Nora Lin, the president of the Society of Women Engineers, believes that "as a computer engineer, Barbie will show girls that women can design products that have an important and positive impact on people's everyday lives, such as inventing a technology to conserve home energy or programming a newborn monitoring device."

The Computer Engineer Barbie is currently available for pre-order directly from Mattel, and will be hitting shops towards the end of this year.

Are you pleased to see Barbie getting a more modern career choice, or is the plastic wonder doing more harm than good to the cause of women in engineering? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

Quote from the pdf:

You voted and we listened! Consumers around the world
voted for Barbie® Doll’s next career and we are pleased
to announce that her 126th career will be Computer
Engineer! The winning careers were announced at New
York Toy Fair on February 12th.
Having Barbie® as an ambassador for female computer
engineers can help inspire a new generation of girls to hone in on
their computer skills and become a part of this growing profession.
“Girls who discover their futures through Barbie will learn that they – just like
engineers – are free to explore infi nite possibilities, and that their dreams can
go as far as their imaginations take them,” said Nora Lin, President, Society of
Women Engineers. “As a computer engineer, Barbie will show girls that women
can design products that have an important and positive impact on people’s
everyday lives, such as inventing a technology to conserve home energy or
programming a newborn monitoring device.”
To ensure the doll accurately refl ects this occupation, Barbie® designers
worked with the Society of Women Engineers and the National Academy of
Engineering to ensure that accessories, clothing and packaging were realistic
and representative of a real computer engineer. Looking
geek chic, Computer Engineer Barbie® wears a
t-shirt featuring binary code and computer/keyboard
icon along with a pair of black knit skinny pants.
Computer Engineer carries a Barbie® smart phone,
fashionable laptop case, fl at watch and Bluetooth
earpiece. With stylish pink-frame glasses and a
shiny laptop, she is ready to conquer the day’s
tasks on the go or from her desk.
For girls to further experience the reality of being a computer engineer, the doll
also includes a special code to unlock exclusive online game content on Barbie.
com. Computer Engineer Barbie is now available for pre-order at
www.MattelShop.com and will be available at retailers nationwide in
Winter 2010.
Please visit www.BarbieMedia.com for more information and images.
Media Contacts:
Michelle Chidoni, Stefani Green
Mattel
310-903-3412, 310-252-6514
michelle.chidoni@ketchum.com , stefani.green@mattel.com