A couple of years ago, LEGO launched an ‘ideas’ competition where they asked members of the public to submit their ideas on how to improve the well-loved toy brand.
In September 2013 the released a new female science character, which was an awesome step forward for all the girls who play with these toys. But it was only the start of what sparked a social conversation online amongst women who were miffed at the fact that most of the female characters in the Lego line didn’t do anything remotely as interesting as the male characters.
Earlier this year, a 7-year-old girl wrote to the company to complain that “all the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and had no jobs,” while the boys in LEGO toys “went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs.”
7yo Charlotte writes an adorable and strongly worded letter to LEGO regarding the lack of adventures for girls. pic.twitter.com/JblNKzCwJs
— SocImages (@SocImages) January 28, 2014
Enter geochemist and designer Ellen Koojiman who submitted an idea to Lego, who is now making that little 7 year old girl’s dreams come true. She designed a Female Minifigure Set which received 10,000 supporters by Jun 2013.
Lego just announced that Ellen’s company Alatariel Elensar who designed the figurines will go into production and be available for purchase in August 2014! They have named it ‘Research Institute’ and will feature a scientist, a paleontologist, and an astronomer.
Having female figures for young girls to play with will mark a major moment in their lives. When we think of the toys that helped shape our childhood and view of the world, knowing that future generations are going to have a more balanced gender ratio is a comforting thought.
Ellen writes about this in a blog post about her range of toys being chose by Lego. “As a female scientist I had noticed two things about the available LEGO sets: a skewed male/female minifigure ratio and a rather stereotypical representation of the available female figures. It seemed logical that I would suggest a small set of female minifigures in interesting professions to make our LEGO city communities more diverse,” she writes.
She says she doesn’t just want girls to play with the figurines, but boys as well by including gender neutral attributes to each character she designed.
— Alatariel Elensar (@AIatariel) June 3, 2014
“Despite comprising nearly half of the U.S. workforce, and 60 percent of bachelor degree recipients, women filled only 24 percent of Science Technology Engineering and Math jobs in 2009, according to the Department of Commerce,” the Washington Post revealed in an article about the new Lego female minifigure set. This should be even more incentive for us to get out there and change the world we live in.
It’s important that women everywhere, spurred on by stories like this continue to push the boundaries. If you have an idea and want to question or challenge the status quo, do it! We wouldn’t be where we are today as women if all the brave females throughout history didn’t do the same for us.
We love toy companies like Goldie Blox who are teaching girls that science, technology, engineering and math can be fun and that they too should be part of this world along with the boys.