LIVING DOLLS: Barbie continues to tackle culturally relevant and aspirational roles in fields were women are underrepresented with the 2023 Career of the Year Collection: Women in Sports highlighting four careers in the sports industry including general manager, coach, referee and sports reporter. (Courtesy Mattel)
Mattel Brand Icon’s 2023 Career of the Year Collection Highlights Women in Sports
Due to the budding romance between superstar Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, teenage girls are watching NFL football and the Chiefs in record numbers.
On Oct. 1, when the Chiefs defeated the New York Jets as Swift watched from a suite at MetLife Stadium, average viewership increased by more than 2 million female viewers; and among teen girls ages 12-17, viewership spiked 53 percent from the season-to-date average for Sunday Night Football, according to NBC Sports. It was the most watched Sunday show since the Super Bowl in February.
With the pop songstress cheering from the stands, young girls can also find themselves represented on the field, working the sidelines and the C suite with a fortunately timed line of sports-career Barbies that were released at the start of the NFL season.
Since 1959, the Barbie brand mission has been to inspire every girl’s potential by releasing 250+ career Barbies from princess to president, astronaut to zoologist. The Career of the Year program was designed to remind girls that they can be anything.
Barbie continues to tackle culturally relevant and aspirational roles in fields were women are underrepresented with the 2023 Career of the Year Collection: Women in Sports highlighting four careers in the sports industry including general manager, coach, referee and sports reporter. The dolls are diverse and come with the required tools a yellow flag for the referee, a microphone for the reporter, a pad for the coach and a staff credential and cell phone for the general manager ($49.99 for the four-doll set on Amazon).
“Throughout my career I have been unwavering in my commitment to lead by example and empower girls to follow their dreams, ultimately to increase access and opportunities for women in sports,” said Dr. Jen Welter, the first female coach in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited to partner with Barbie and remind young girls that they can achieve greatness in any profession they choose – whether that’s on the field, in the locker room or behind the mic.”
In 2022, Barbie introduced the Eco-Leadership Team as the Career of the Year, including chief sustainability officer, conservation scientist, renewable energy engineer and environmental advocate. In 2021, Barbie introduced the Barbie music producer doll, to introduce girls to a career where women make up only three percent of music producers.
This year, Barbie is furthering the brand’s commitment to empowering the next generation of female leaders in sports by partnering with Voice in Sports, a community for female athletes that work to inspire and support each other through research, education and advocacy.
According to the NCAA, women make up 25 percent of U.S. college-level head coaches. A study conducted by UNESCO found that only 30 percent of global sports participants are women. And according to Associated Press, less than 17 percent of sports reporters are females.
“Through this partnership, I hope to ignite a passion for all of the possibilities sports unlock for the next generation of women and help pave the way for a future where women’s voices and talent are recognized and celebrated across the sporting world and beyond,” added Dr. Welter.