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Virgin Atlantic have teamed up with Barbie UK to encourage young girls to pursue a variety of careers in aviation. Launching today, there will be three one-of-a-kind dolls to celebrate each profession; a pilot, engineer and member of the cabin crew.
With real women at the heart of the project, the dolls are each built to reflect a different body shape and ethnicity.
With current statistics indicating an overwhelmingly male oriented work force in aviation, this collaboration is an important step towards bringing more women into the field.
According to the Women's Engineering Society, only 12% of the UK engineering workforce is female. Meanwhile, only 4.3% of British pilots are female.
Considering Barbie was originally created to show young girls that women have choices, this is a very fitting collaboration and one that will hopefully encourage more girls to explore a more varied set of career paths.
Following on from the Dream Gap Project - launched by Barbie as a means of targeting young girls' limited sense of self-belief - the development of these aviation dolls will contribute to the project's goal by encouraging more young girls to engage with STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) careers.
As Nikki Humphrey, SVP People at Virgin Atlantic said: "By working with Barbie, it allows us to speak directly to our future generation of aviation workers, whether they aspire to be cabin crew, engineers or pilots."
Working with its charity partner, WE, the project will also hold annual Future Flyer open days at the airline's offices. Female engineers and pilots will hold talks, providing young girls with some real life role models to look up to.
And for those planning on taking that step, Virgin Atlantic is offering both cabin crew and engineering apprenticeships as well as a pilot cadet scheme, which you can access here.
The Pilot and Crew dolls will be sold on-board later on this year and the Engineer dolls will be available in 2020.
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