At the 16th Annual Wonder Women Awards last weekend, Mattel and Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) revealed the Ruth Handler Mentorship Program.

Timed to Mattel’s 75th-anniversary celebration, the new program is named for Handler — Mattel’s co-founder and creator of the Barbie brand — and is underwritten by The Mattel Foundation.

“Mattel marks its 75th anniversary this year and the Ruth Handler Mentorship Program for WIT is a perfect way to carry on the legacy of our founder, commemorate our rich heritage and celebrate our commitment to supporting rising female leaders,” says Amy Thompson, chief people officer, Mattel. “This is the industry’s first mentorship program for women designed to advance career growth across the toy industry through mentorship, coaching, professional development, and learning.”

Powered by Everwise, a platform that guides mentorship both on and offline, the program will also provide a library of content and career development tools for participants. The progress of the program will be tracked through participation, survey data, and annual reports.

“WIT is thrilled to have Mattel’s generous support with this game-changing program, which is a vital step in helping our industry grow,” says Janice Ross, newly installed WIT president. “This will benefit women at all stages of their career by connecting them with the mentors and support networks they need.”

More details about the program and how to get involved can be found at

The Toy Book is a supporting sponsor of Women in Toys.