Lego addresses gender stereotypes

Published on: 11th October 2021

Informed by its latest research, The Lego Group launches its ‘Ready for Girls’ campaign to celebrate girls who rebuild the story of old-fashioned gender norms. 

New research commissioned by The Lego Group reveals that while today’s girls feel increasingly confident in engaging in all types of play and creative activities, they remain held back by society’s ingrained gender stereotypes as they grow older. The study was carried out by the Geena Davis Institute in recognition of the UN’s International Day of the Girl and to mark the launch of a new Lego campaign, ‘Ready for Girls’, which celebrates girls who rebuild the world through creative problem solving.

The research, which surveyed nearly 7,000 parents and children aged 6-14 years old in China, Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, Russia, UK and USA highlights the need for society to rebuild perceptions, actions and words to support the creative empowerment of all children. While many parents perceive Lego as a good example of an inclusive toy brand, Lego play is still considered more relevant to boys than girls, with 59% of parents saying they encourage their sons to build with Lego bricks compared to 48% who say they encourage it with their daughters. This view became more pronounced when parents were asked to complete an implicit bias assessment: 76% said they would encourage Lego play to a son versus 24% who would recommend it to a daughter.

Now, on International Day of The Girl, The Lego Group is calling on parents and children to champion inclusive play via its Ready for Girls campaign. The company has developed a 10-step guide and invited parents to share photos of their child’s Lego creations against a pre-defined AR backdrop featuring the words ‘Get the World Ready for Me’.

The company is committed to making Lego play more inclusive and ensuring that children’s creative ambitions – both now in the future – are not limited by gender stereotypes. Lego says there is work to do, and from 2021 will work closely with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and UNICEF to ensure Lego products and marketing are accessible to all and free of gender bias and stereotypes.

“As a Mom of three children, I have long admired The Lego Group,” said Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davies Institute on Gender in Media. “I’m heartened by its global commitment to this study, to inform how we can dramatically inspire creativity in girls through play and storytelling. We also know that showing girls unique and unstereotyped activities can lead to an expanded viewpoint of possibilities and opportunities.”

According to The Lego Group, the Ready for Girls campaign aims to welcome more girls to construction play, ensuring they aren’t losing out on the benefits of Lego due to societal expectations. The company will also ensure any child, regardless of gender identify, feels they can build anything they like, playing in a way that will help them develop and realise their unique talent.

Julia Goldin, chief product and marketing officer, The Lego Group, added: “The benefits of creative play, such as building confidence, creativity and communication skills, are felt by all children and yet we still experience age-old stereotypes that label activities as only being suitable for one specific gender. At the Lego Group we know we have a role to play in putting this right, and this campaign is one of several initiatives we are putting in place to raise awareness of the issue and ensure we make Lego play as inclusive as possible. All children should be able to reach their true creative potential.”


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