“When you reach for the stars, anything is possible.”
LONDON — American toymaker Mattel, the parent company of the iconic Barbie dolls, has honored British STEM trailblazer Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE with a unique Barbie in her likeness.
Aderin-Pocock — space scientist and science educator — is well known for hosting the BBC show “The Sky at Night” as well as children’s television show “Stargazing.”
Dressed in a starry dress and adorned with a telescope accessory, her doll aims to recognize her achievements and work with the James Webb Space Telescope, as well as inspire young girls to follow their passion in science.
It is one of the seven unique custom dolls created by Mattel to celebrate women in STEM and introduce girls to inspiring stories that “show them they can be anything.”
“Barbie is dedicated to showcasing women who are role models from all backgrounds, professions and nationalities so that girls around the world can see themselves in careers that might not always seem accessible,” said Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie & Dolls.
“STEM is a field where women are severely underrepresented, and our hope is that honoring these seven leaders in science and technology will encourage girls to follow their passion in this field. This International Women’s Day, we’re proud to continue our work in closing the Dream Gap and reminding girls of heir limitless potential.”
The child of immigrants, Aderin-Pocock was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 8 and grew up hating school.
“Because of my dyslexia, my reading and writing weren’t good at all,” said Aderin-Pocock. “Because science was an interest and a passion, I started reading about the subject. I was reading about it in school and I was reading about it at home. Suddenly my marks kept going up and up and up and I was at the top of the class.”
Aderin-Pocock hopes her doll can remind girls to follow careers in STEM.
“I hope my doll will remind girls that when you reach for the stars, anything is possible,” she said.
Aderin-Pocock has been honored alongside other trailblazers in STEM, such as Katya Echazarreta, the first Mexican woman in space; Susan Wojciki, long-time Google executive; and German marine biology professor Antje Boetius.