Gina Hutchings from the IT Marketing Agency shares her views following PCR's Woman of the Year event.
My lifelong ambition is to be Barbie in human form… not the blonde bombshell with the incredible figure and tiny feet - but the iconic and career-focused business woman she is today.
When most people talk about Barbie they assume she is an airhead, but Barbie is in fact an ambassador for young women today.
“My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choice,” said the creator of the Barbie doll, Ruth Handler.
This month I attended the PCR Woman of the Year awards and heard from CompTIA, the UK trade association for the IT channel, on how we need to encourage more women into the IT industry. It made me think back to Barbie’s ethos that you can be whoever you want to be and how we all have choices.
The first Barbie hit the shops in 1959, named after the creator’s daughter Barbara. She was the first adult doll made for children, moving away from babies alone. She wore designer clothing and echoed the 1950s style of Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth. Through her looks alone, she was every girl's and every gentleman’s dream.
Barbie was promoted as a fashion doll for fashion conscious teens and she was bang on trend. When the first female astronaut (Russian Valentina Tereshkova) entered space in 1963 - an astronaut Barbie soon followed. In the 1960s free living era, Barbie showed that anything was achievable without being tied to the kitchen sink.
Barbie was not just making music. Along with the likes of Madonna, she was also shattering the ‘glass’ (or maybe ‘plastic’?) ceiling, and the briefcase-holding, suit-wearing, power executive doll based on ‘Dynasty’ was born.
In the 1980s MTV debuted and with it came ‘Barbie and the Rockers’, a shoulder padded, big hair, scrunchied and legging wearing set of Barbie dolls forming a new rock band.
Today you will find Barbie on LinkedIn with over 6,000 followers, not to mention her huge Instagram following and Twitter friends. If you take a look at her career to date she has been an architect, magazine editor, fashion designer, computer technician, yoga instructor, vet, doctor, wild life ranger, safari leader as well as a girlfriend, mother and best friend. It goes without saying that the whole time she looks immaculate.
In 2010 Barbie fans and members of the exclusive Barbie Collectors club voted for Barbie’s next career path to be as a Computer Engineer in her 126th job! This is not as bad as it sounds, and Barbie is in fact very employable with a multitude of skills.
Ken, on the other hand, has a limited resumé… notably a career as a cowboy and a ski instructor is on his CV. Barbie even famously dumped Ken in 2004 and he publically begged for her back via social media, but she declined until he shook up his act and his appearance.
Barbie is a great role model for children. In fact she is the girl’s equivalent superhero. Although she can appear to be promoting an unachievable lifestyle, juggling many plates at once, for me Barbie is someone to aspire to.
Forget the long blonde luscious locks, the piercing blue eyes and tiny waist. Barbie can be whoever she wants - and an IT marketing professional sounds like a job right up her street.
Article re-posted from the IT Marketing Agency blog with permission