Barbie has signed on with three research partners to fight gender bias through its multi-year global initiative called the Dream Gap Project.
Barbie has created the Dream Gap Project, a multi-year global initiative aimed at raising awareness on the limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential. According to the brand, the ‘dream gap’ concept remains under-researched, particularly where it affects those in the five-to-seven age bracket.
To cultivate the study, Barbie is collaborating with Andrei Cimpian, Associate Professor at New York University, and will fund a two-year post-doctoral fellowship on the issue. Globally, the company will work with several researchers to extend the programme and find out more about girls elsewhere in the world.
Research has identified that from age five, girls are less likely than boys to view their own gender as smart and lose confidence in their competence. Cultural stereotypes, implicit biases, and representation in the media work together to drive the issue. Referenced as the dream gap in the United States, similar trends exist beyond.
A key component of the effort is the release of a digital spot, which builds on Mattel’s You Can Be Anything campaign platform for its Barbie portfolio. Additional content is being developed for the official website to equip adults with useful resources to support girls across all stages of personal development.
Infusing purpose-driven themes via targeted content, including Barbie Vlogger, the group will continue to address the important challenges faced by young females throughout their lives. More information is available through a dedicated website. Fans can join the social conversation using #CloseTheDreamGap.
“The goal of the Dream Gap Project is to leverage our global platforms to educate society on gender biases and inspire any supporter of girls to join us as we can’t do this alone,” said Lisa McKnight, General Manager and SVP of Barbie. The other academic entities on board are the University of Illinois and Princeton University.