Inspiring a new generation of engineers
Philip Ellison 09 July, 2013 at 01:07
Toy start-up GoldieBlox is doing its bit to change the ratio in the tech world, by launching a line of engineering toys for girls that will encourage creative thinking, empower problem solving, and inspire innovation. It is their hope that by providing less stereotypically geared products, they will encourage more girls to consider hands-on roles in tech, development and engineering.
The GoldieBlox tagline is “Disrupting the pink aisle with toys for future engineers”, referring to the Barbie and Hello Kitty-centric toy market for young girls, compared to the more diverse range of engaging, constructive toys that are available for boys. The brand includes Goldie, “the girl inventor who loves to build”, and features slogans such as “gold is the new pink”.
While there are other brands that promote logical thinking, such as LEGO, these are marketed predominantly towards boys. Founder and CEO Debra Sterling says that she developed GoldieBlox around the kind of toys that she wishes she could have had when she was a child, acknowledging that while engineering is a booming field and looks set to be going forward, around 90% of jobs in this sector are held by men.
Based in San Francisco and initially funded by Kickstarter, GoldieBlox has just secured a distribution contract with retail giant Toys’R’Us, ensuring its flagship product a place in every single Toys’R’Us store in the United States. However, Sterling sees this as a small victory in a larger struggle: “We are now just one tiny box in a sea of plastic princesses… We have our work cut out for us.”