Mattel introduced the Barbie Dream Gap Project, a multi-year global initiative to raise awareness around limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential.

Research identified that starting at age five, many girls are less likely than boys to view their own gender as smart and begin to lose confidence in their own competence. Cultural stereotypes, implicit biases, and representation in media work together to further this issue. In the U.S., this has been referenced as the “Dream Gap,” but there are similar trends around the world.

Girls’ belief in themselves is impacted by these limiting factors, so Barbie will fund research to highlight positive role models and rally a community around supporting girls with The Dream Gap Project.

To help, the brand will collaborate with Associate Professor Andrei Cimpian of New York University to fund a two-year post-doctoral fellowship on this issue. Globally, Barbie will work with local researchers to extend these studies and find out more about girls around the world.

The Dream Gap Project will focus on the following:

  • Raising awareness using content on developed to provide adults with resources to support the girls in their lives. Barbie also created a new digital spot that builds on the “You Can Be Anything” campaign and explains the Dream Gap.
  • Showing girls more role models and highlighting at least 10 empowering female role models each year globally.
  • Leveraging Barbie as a role model and connecting with girls through content that is centered on teachable moments, such as Barbie Vlogger.
  • Continuing to offer products that allow girls to play out their dreams, while showing them they have choices. This includes the Inspiring Women series and highlighting underrepresented careers.
  • Rallying partners around the world with any like-minded companies who are dedicated to girls’ empowerment.