Toy manufacturers Mattel this month have launched a new 'Entrepreneur Barbie' with the claim it is helping to raise aspirations of young girls with the toy. But the release of the new 'pink and powerful' figure has refreshed the debate - what does a female entrepreneur look like? Do all women entrepreneurs have flowing hair and a penchant for pink? Are we all tech savvy and attached at the hip to the latest gadgets?
The doll retailing at $12.99 via Mattel comes in different ethnicities, hair colour and eye colour, but each choice features standard Barbie tiny waist size, pink power dress and are accessorised by a smartphone, clutchbag, tablet and necklace.
Having worked with women entrepreneurs since 1996, The Women's Organisation Ltd. have met with women from every walk of life pursuing a plethora of amazing business ideas. One thing we are very clear on, every woman is different (and actually not many of us like to wear pink).
Women start their own business for a variety of reasons. For some it is following a life long dream to be their own boss, others find themselves battling unemployment and decide to utilise their skills to create their own job, for some it is finding a career that can flexibly fit around the family, and others simply find self-employment the right fit for them.
It has been hi-lighted by media that Mattel hoped that the toy would 'raise aspirations of young girls', but how much do a pink dress and gadgets show young women the hard work and commitment that women entrepreneurs put in every day to make their business dream a reality?
Real life role models are something we very much endorse, in fact on this very blog you can read some of the inspirational stories of women who have come through our programmes. We would love to share some of these women's stories and images with Mattel. Maybe then we would see an entrepreneur we could recognise.
What do you think of Entrepreneur Barbie?