Diverse Customer Shoutout: Mattel Inc. & Lego's STEM Push

Image: Endgadget
Image: Cosmopolitan

The fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) have been predominantly male to an extent that memos (Google's Ideological Echo Chamber by James Damore) have been written to explain the lack of participation by women in the STEM fields citing personality differences between men and women and a possible reason for the widening gender pay gap and, lot fewer women on the whole in the STEM fields as a result of that. 

Yes, I have read the infamous, viral google memo. 
But this post isn't about the memo, defending it or denouncing it altogether. I focus on the positives. The problem with the world of diversity is that most people believe diversity to be a thing that can be fixed by being politically correct all the time. In all the chatter about fixing "a thing" and being politically correct, the important aspect of inclusion remains invisible in this context. Inclusion is the first step towards true diversity. Inclusion happens through participation. Less chatter and more action.

Both Mattel Inc. and Lego have been instrumental in focusing on this very important aspect i.e. participation. Great to see Barbie and the LEGO Ideas Women of NASA set that many girls can relate to! No more just aerobics, model, popstar dolls but also robotics engineers, astronauts - a truer representation of the diversity of professions and a diaspora of identities that encourages girls to take STEM with sincere and intense belief and embrace in their aspirational objectives and beat all pre-established social norms and stereotypes. A lot of studies indicate that stereotypical complexes eventually hinder the confidence building of girls. Like Disney, Lego, and Mattel, all were ignorant in one way or the other. For example, historically most Disney princesses have been demure, and damsels in distress? This is how women and consumers (Girls) largely - unknowingly buy into this frenzy. 

Glad to see "things" changing and hence the shoutout! 

-Amit Anand