There seems to be no argument here- the engineer world is dominated by males. When I was an undergrad in college, this fact became extremely obvious. In an engineer lecture room, you could count the female engineer students on a single hand. At one point, I began questioning this myself. Why was it so uncommon to find a woman interested in this field? Why do men hold nearly 90% of engineering jobs? Why did I never even think to consider this route?
A trip to any toy store may actually hold the answer. As a young girl, I didn’t come home from the toy store with legos, lincoln blocks, or robots you could build for battle. I came home with dress-up barbies, build-a-bears, and fake make-up kits. Now don’t get me wrong- I don’t have a problem with these toys. If a child wants to dress up a doll and play with its hair, I think its completely fine. Instead, the problem is simply that the opportunity to go out and explore is not available. As a young girl, I didn’t even have the option to see what was there for me outside of pink and glitter. I realized that I never considered being an engineer because I was never programmed to have any sort of interest in the field.
Debbie Sterling, a female engineer, went through the very same epiphany. She decided she wanted to change her male-dominated workplace and just like that, GoldieBlox was created. The toy company aims to inspire the future generation of female engineers by creating construction toys that appeal to girls.
“GoldieBlox is a series of interactive books + construction toys starring Goldie, a curious girl with a love of engineering. Goldie’s stories encourage girls to build, developing the spatial skills that are fundamental to engineering. As she goes on adventures with her friends, she comes across problems that she must solve by building simple machines. As the story unfolds, the girls get to build what Goldie builds. Through the downloadable e-book app, kids get to hear the story narrated and receive helpful hints and tips to enrich the building experience.”
Check out the inspiring commercial as well as Debbie Sterling’s story below. To learn more about GoldieBlox, check out their official blog here.