Networking

Barbie breaking the glass ceiling

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In real-life she would be five feet, nine inches tall and only weigh about 110 pounds, but the newly released Entrepreneur Barbie is sending her strongest message yet.

At least, that is the hope for the young girls who purchase the 2014 Career of the Year doll, manufactured by Mattel.

When I was a kid in the 70s, I remember Barbie as just being a pretty woman, with great hair, the perfect shape and an awesome wardrobe.

And, in the 35 years since then, Barbie has kept her looks, hair and shape, but she has certainly gone through what seems like a ton of job changes.

This busy lady has had 150 careers, including as an astronaut, teacher and a veterinarian.

Although it’s a very impressive resume, the inconsistency is not a pattern I want my daughter to model, who by the way, had a Barbie-themed party for her third birthday, but I do give Barbie credit for not being afraid to try new things, and not being intimidated by certain careers that are typically male dominated.

With that being said, I personally think Barbie is making a good statement by trying her hand this time at becoming an entrepreneur, as women-owned businesses are on an upward trend.

According to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express OPEN, which highlights women owned business trends from 1997-2013, more than 8 million firms in the nation are owned by women, employing more than 7 million people, generating $1.3 trillion in revenues as of 2013, and the number of women owned firms is growing one and a half times the national average.

“My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be,” said a quote listed on the Barbie website by Ruth Handler, founder of Mattel Creations in 1945 and the creator of Barbie. “Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices.”

Jennifer Glose

Jennifer Glose

Reporter Jennifer Glose covers health care, Berks County and other topics. She can be reached at jenniferg@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 111. Follow her on Twitter @jenniferg_LVB.

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