As a woman in the field of architecture I know how low the numbers are for women, especially women of color in the field of architecture. Currently statistics show that only 17 percent of American architects are female! Mattel, the creators of Barbie feel that Barbie can help change the numbers.
Mattel says, "Barbie inspires girls to try on different careers, encouraging them to play out their dreams and explore the world and all of its possibilities without ever having to leave home,". They go further on to say, "We believe role-playing with Barbie leads to real life opportunities, and are very proud to introduce I Can Be…Architect Barbie as our 2011 career of the year."
Growing up I loved Barbie, and her career choices in the past did inspire me and show me that I could do anything that I wanted, be that if I wanted to be a doctor or the president of the United States. However during my childhood years I felt I could do anything, and Barbie’s career of choice of the year did not really influence my decision.
I would like to continue you my architecture career, however, the system is not built to accommodate the needs of female architects. It takes about 10 years to become a licensed architect, and during these years you are working crazy long slave hours for basically no pay (meaning $40,000 salary area). Other career fields such as being a doctor or lawyer, you must endure a period of intense training, but you finish your training in less than 10 years and your salary level rewards you on a substantial level.
If a woman wants to have children, it is very difficult to maintain the grueling hours while pregnant, and support a child with such a low salary level even though it is a professional field. Yes the hours are grueling in other professional fields, but at least there is a generous salary.
Tell me what you think about Architect Barbie.
Check out this blog post by Architizer to learn more!