Mattel announced that they are launching a new “Chief Inspiration Officer” Entrepreneur Barbie in June as part of their “I Can Be” career line of the popular doll. The toymaker says that she will be a reflection of our times.
She will be wearing a black and pink shift dress and carries a black purse. In addition, she will sport a tiny smartphone and tablet as her tech accessories.
But I think Mattel is missing the boat here with just these accessories. If they truly want to show little girls what they can be by reflecting the times, there are few notable accessories missing here. Perhaps they should also include the following so that Barbie accurately reflects the times that women entrepreneurs work in today:
Comfortable Walking Shoes
According to Silicon Valley CEOs Meg Whitman and Marissa Mayer, the days of commuting to ones desk in slippers are numbered. While both HP and Yahoo were pioneering companies in the technology that made telecommuting possible, both brands are in turnaround mode and believe that a return to Managing By Walking Around (MBWA) can be a tactic that helps do just that. Both women issued statements that they wanted to see more employees in the office to foster an environment of innovation and collaboration. They believe that a return to MBWA will spark the kind of creativity that made it possible to work from home in the first place . So if these women are any indication of the future of companies, good walking shoes are a must for Entrepreneur Barbie.
Sunglasses and Big Floppy Hat
If Entrepreneur Barbie ever writes a book that motivates and inspires women to embrace their careers and share more of the “at home” responsibilities with their husbands, she may want sunglasses and a hat to ward off the inevitable hordes of paparazzi that will swarm her once it becomes a movie. Sheryl Sandberg’s similar themed book, “Lean In,” may be adapted to a movie by Sony Pictures. Sandberg, who just became an official “Billionaire”, will donate the any profits from the film to the Lean In Foundation. Maybe Sheryl’s people can get in touch with Barbie’s people and do lunch to discuss collaboration.
Based on the recent disclosure of the CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra’s compensation plan, Entrepreneur Barbie will need a large wheelbarrow for all the cash she will make with her performance-based compensation package. Barra’s original package that GM disclosed was 52% lower than the previous CEO, Dan Akerson, attracting many women including Congresswoman Louis Slaughter, a Democrat from New York. In a move that finally put Barra’s compensation closer to that of her peers, GM began to close the gender pay gap that many women still face in today’s job market. Luckily for Entrepreneur Barbie, her wheelbarrow may soon be the exact same size as Ken’s.
Entrepreneur Barbie will need to hone her juggling skills as she climbs the ladder of success and makes decisions about her family. As she achieves more in her career she will likely have to make decisions about when to start a family. Most women running companies are also mommies. In an article from the Wall Street Journal online, out of 12 female CEOs of fortune 500 companies, 11 of them had children, dispelling the myth that women must be either successful at their job or have children. Interestingly enough, there is no statistic that mentions how many male CEOs have children. No word yet as to whether Mattel will also soon release Stay-At-Home-Dad Ken is available to handle with the many duties associated with rearing children.
I am glad that Mattel is embracing our times to show little girls what they can do with the right attitude, drive, ambition, and of course, accessories. Perhaps with these additions, she will be a more accurate reflection of our times and the women who headline in them.
What accessories do you think Entrepreneur Barbie should have?
|Colin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin has been recognized by LinkedIn as one of the top 150 Business Influencers in the world. He is an international author of four best-selling books on Customer Experience. Colin’s company, Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from our Global Headquarters in Tampa, Florida, USA.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter: @ColinShaw_CX