Statistics from the Women’s Engineering Society indicate that only 12% of the United Kingdom engineering workforce is female and similar statistics show that only 4.3% of UK pilots are women.
Virgin Atlantic has partnered with Barbie's Dream Gap Project, an on-going initiative with the goal of levelling the playing field for girls globally. The partnership aims to highlight role models to show girls they can be anything and help close the Dream Gap.
The partnership with Barbie marks the start of a wider initiative to encourage more women into STEM and aviation careers. Alongside our charity partner, WE, the Passport for Change programme aims to inspire young people to engage with STEM subjects and consider a future in aviation.
With Barbie, the airline's dual mission to inspire girls through more careers includes our annual Future Flyer open day at our HQ, as well as leveraging female engineers and pilots to show girls real role models, through school visits and trips to our engineering hangars.
Virgin Atlantic will also be shining a spotlight on STEM careers using Barbie as an educational tool, inspiring on-board Barbie content, and a social campaign; #SeeHerFly.
The dolls have been designed in the likeness of real Virgin Atlantic uniforms and show ethnic and body diversity, reflecting the body types available in the Barbie line. The pilot doll has articulated ankles and flat shoes and wears a pilot’s uniform complete with wings and badge. The engineer doll wears flat safety boots, an access lanyard and noise cancelling headphones, while the cabin crew doll pays homage to the iconic red Virgin Atlantic Vivienne Westwood uniform.
While these Virgin Atlantic dolls are one-of-a-kind, young fans can imagine themselves in-flight with the Barbie Pilot doll as well as play out different roles in other fields with other Barbie career dolls available. Later in the year, Pilot and Crew dolls will be sold on-board and in key retail partners to further celebrate the partnership.
If you're looking to take the next step in their aviation career, Virgin Atlantic offers both cabin crew and engineering apprenticeships as well as a pilot cadet scheme. More information can be found at www.virginatlantic.com/careers
For more details, visit Barbie’s Dream Gap Project to inspire the next generation.