Virgin Atlantic and Barbie team up to inspire careers in STEM and aviation

Published on: 9th September 2019

Celebrating two iconic brands, the project aims to show younger girls the scope of careers at Virgin Atlantic.

Originally created to show girls that women have choices, Barbie has had over 200 careers throughout her history, and in the brand’s 60th year, three Virgin Atlantic careers join the ranks to inspire girls to believe anything is possible. Three one-of-a-kind dolls will celebrate the partnership; pilot, engineer and cabin crew. Current statistics from the Women’s Engineering Society indicate that only 12% of the UK engineering workforce is female, and similar statistics show that only 4.3% of UK pilots are women, with the aviation sector in particular dominated by men.

Research has identified that starting at age five, many girls begin to develop limiting self-beliefs and doubt their full potential – this is called the Dream Gap. Barbie launched the Dream Gap Project, an on-going initiative with the goal of levelling the playing field for girls globally. This latest partnership is the next step in the brand’s commitment to highlight role models to show girls they can be anything and help close the Dream Gap.

Virgin Atlantic, in an effort to have more female representation across the board and highlight its career opportunities for women, recruited the world’s number No.1 fashion doll in order to spotlight a variety of careers to a younger generation of girls.

The partnership marks the start of a wider initiative at the airline to encourage more women into STEM and aviation careers. Virgin Atlantic and Barbie’s dual mission to inspire girls includes an annual Future Flyer open day at the airline’s HQ, school visits and trips to the airline’s engineering hangars to spotlight STEM careers, using Barbie as an educational tool, inspiring on-board Barbie content,and a social campaign; #SeeHerFly.

The dolls have been designed in the likeness of real Virgin Atlantic uniforms and show ethnic and body diversity, reflecting the body types available across the Barbie line.

Nikki Humphrey, SVP People at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “It’s astounding that girls start believing they can’t follow a certain career path from as young as five and it’s our ambition we close this Dream Gap. Working with Barbie allows us to speak directly to our future generation of aviation workers, whether they aspire to be cabin crew, engineers or pilots.”

Later in the year, Pilot and Crew dolls will be sold on-board and in key retail partners to further celebrate the partnership, with Engineer dolls available in 2020.


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