In a move to encourage more women to join the aviation world, Virgin Atlantic has tied up with the iconic brand Barbie to create their own female dolls. With the hashtag #seeherfly, these custom Barbie dolls will be in donning different uniforms in the field of commercial aviation like flight attendants, pilots, and aircraft mechanics. Virgin's Barbies symbolizes smart and career driven women.
In an initiative called the Dream Gap Project and working in partnership with Mattel Inc, the markers of Barbie,, Virgin helped design the female Barbie characters in Virgin Atlantic careers while showcasing a diverse array of ethnicities and body types.
In a report from Simple Flying, Phil Maher, our EVP Operations at Virgin commented on the initiative, saying, “It’s essential that Virgin Atlantic plays a pivotal role in encouraging women to succeed in STEM careers. It’s evident that for those women who do become pilots and engineers, career satisfaction is exceptionally high, and it’s no surprise that job satisfaction is exceptionally high. It’s essential we showcase to girls of all ages just how fulfilling a career in our industry can be and our partnership with Barbie is just one of the steps we’re undertaking to achieve this.”
The pilot and cabin crew Barbie dolls will be available on Virgin flights later this year. The aircraft mechanic will be made available by 2020.
The collaboration between Virgin Atlantic and Barbie is part of a wider project with a charity called WE on aiming to inspire young people called Passport for Change. Aside from the Barbie dolls, Virgin will be conducting school visits and trips to aircraft facilities like hangars aimed to provide inspiration to young people.
The aviation industry is known to be a male-dominated industry. A research by Statista shows that United Airlines and Lufthansa pilots are composed of 7.4% and 7% female respectively. British Airways and Air Canada female pilots make up 5.9% and 5.5% respectively. Virgin Atlantic's female pilots make up for 3.2%.