Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock honoured as new Barbie Role Model

Published on: 7th March 2023

The black British scientist is being created as a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll ahead of International Women’s Day on 8th March.

The Barbie doll celebrates Dr Maggie’s achievements in making space and science fascinating and accessible to girls, and Barbie is donating Dr Maggie’s book, Am I Made of Stardust, to schools across the UK through partner charity Inspiring Girls. The Mattel brand is also expanding its Career range with a Marine Biologist doll this spring, joining STEM career Barbies including Doctor, Vet, Scientist and Astronaut.

A former president of the British Science Association, Dr Maggie (MBE) is best known for presenting BBC One’s The Sky at Night and her work looking deep into space with the James Webb telescope. Her one-of-a-kind Barbie wears a starry dress reminiscent of the night sky and comes with a telescope accessory for stargazing.

“I want to inspire the next generation of scientists, especially girls, and let them know that STEM is for them,” she said. “I hope my doll will remind girls that when you reach for the stars, anything is possible.”

Dr Maggie continued: “As a black woman I’ve found that I don’t always fit some people’s perception of a scientist. We often have stereotypical images of what people do, and I like to smash those stereotypes whenever I get the opportunity.

“As a child growing up, I played with Barbies, and I still do now with my daughter. When I was little, Barbie didn’t look like me, so to have one created in my likeness is mind-boggling. It’s such an honour to receive this doll that is celebrating my achievements.”

Kelly Philp, Marketing director, Mattel UK, commented: “We know that globally STEM is a field widely recognised as underrepresenting women so, as a brand, Barbie is committed to showing girls more STEM careers. In the UK, research tells us women make up only 26% of the STEM workforce so showcasing an exciting career in space science like Dr Maggie’s is just one way we are inspiring girls to think differently about their career opportunities.”

Today, Barbie also recognises six other STEM professionals globally who are trailblazers in their field and also honoured with a one-of-a-kind doll:

  • Susan Wojcicki, (US) – Long-time Youtube CEO
  • Anne Wojcicki (US) – Co-founder and CEO of 23AndMe
  • Janet Wojcicki (US) – Professor of Paediatrics and Epidemiology at the University of California
  • Prof Dr Antje Boetius (Germany) – Marine researcher and microbiologist
  • Katya Echazarret (Mexico) – Electrical engineer & Science Show host
  • Li Yinuo (China) – Co-founder of ETU Education

Barbie has highlighted the boundary-breaking stories of more than 60 historical and modern-day role models from diverse backgrounds and fields to help inspire the next generation to believe they can be anything.

In the UK, previous Barbie Role Models include vaccine creator Professor Sarah Gilbert, beauty founder Pat McGrath, broadcaster Clara Amfo, fastest woman in British history Dina Asher-Smith, champion skateboarder Sky Brown, activist and model Adwoa Aboah, and Boxer Nicola Adams.


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