Virgin Atlantic has teamed up with Barbie to launch a new campaign designed to encourage more young girls to consider studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, and potentially take up a career in the aviation sector.
Together, Virgin and Barbie have created three dolls representing a pilot, engineer and a member of cabin crew to highlight the range of careers available at an airline such as Virgin. The partnership will include school visits by female pilots and engineers.
Figures from the Women’s Engineering Society show just 12% of the UK’s engineering workforce is female, while just 4.3% of UK pilots are women. Barbie has had more than 200 careers in her history, with the dolls adding three more.
Each of the dolls feature Barbie wearing a Virgin Atlantic uniform and highlight different skin tones and body types.
Nikki Humphrey, senior vice-president, people at Virgin Atlantic, said: “We know women are underrepresented across a number of careers within aviation. We also know we can’t change this overnight.
“Therefore, it’s imperative we play the long-game, highlighting to primary aged children that any job role is open and our partnership with Barbie marks another milestone in our commitment to this.
“It’s astounding girls start believing they can’t follow a certain career path from as young as five and it’s our ambition to help close the dream gap. By working with Barbie, it allows us to speak directly to our future generation of aviation professionals, whether they aspire to be cabin crew, engineers or pilots.”
The partnership is part of a wider initiative at Virgin Atlantic to encourage more women to pursue STEM and aviation careers, working with charity partner WE. Its Passport for Change programme aims to inspire young people to engage with STEM subjects and consider a future in aviation.
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