Breaking Down Barriers: Mattel’s New Women in Film Barbies Show Young Girls What’s Possible in the Movie Industry

On the heels of last summer’s Barbie and the film’s massive success, Mattel hopes to broaden young girls’ horizons with its new Women in Film Barbies.

While Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster Barbie movie more than proved a female can direct a billion-dollar film, new statistics show the reality of just how many women work in powerful roles in Hollywood.

Female Representation in the Movie-Making Industry

According to a new report published last week by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, only 22% of directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers in the top 250 grossing films of 2023 were female. This represents a decline of 2% from 2022.

Moreover, the increase of female representation in these roles has been a mere 5% over the past 26 years, since 1998.

Martha Lauzen, the report’s author and executive director of the center, commented, “An increase of 5% points over 26 years suggests a glacial rate of change and makes one seriously question industry pledges to achieve greater gender diversity.”

In other words, while women accounted for 22% of key behind-the-scenes roles on top movies in 2023, this was down from 2022 and reflects an extremely slow pace of progress spanning more than two decades.

The Women in Film Barbies

Sadly, it’s no wonder young girls don’t think of these roles as possibilities. From an early age, toys and media steer them towards more “traditionally feminine” jobs. But the new director, cinematographer, studio executive, and movie star Barbies aims to change that limited mindset.

As a girl plays with the director Barbie, perhaps focusing on her vision to bring a script to life, she may start dreaming of calling the shots on set one day. The cinematographer Barbie, equipped with a camera accessory, could inspire her to find the beautiful visuals and memorable shots. And, perhaps the studio executive Barbie may spark a passion for the business side of movies.

Of course, the fashionable outfits on these dolls still play to Barbie’s roots. But by shining a light on careers usually dominated by men, we hope Mattel can open young eyes to new opportunities. With Barbies paving the way, maybe one day, the statistics will showcase more women seizing their chance to create magic on the big screen.

Change starts with planting seeds of possibility – and these dolls aim to cultivate dreams that can change an industry from within.

Get more details on the new Women in Film Barbies here.

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Emily Sprinkle, also known as Emma Loggins, is a designer, marketer, blogger, and speaker. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Women's Business Daily where she pulls from her experience as the CEO and Director of Strategy for Excite Creative Studios, where she specializes in web development, UI/UX design, social media marketing, and overall strategy for her clients.

Emily has also written for CNN, Autotrader, The Guardian, and is also the Editor-In-Chief for the geek lifestyle site