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Career

Inspiration

Goldieblox Aims To Disrupt Perfect Beauty Standards

6 November, 2014

If you’re wondering what to buy your 9 year old niece for Christmas this year, then look no further.

Goldieblox, the company founded by Stanford engineer Debra Stirling, has added to their mission to ‘disrupt the pink aisle’ by releasing a new doll and campaign against ‘Big Sister’. Their previous ad campaign earned them an ad slot during the 2013 Super Bowl.

In their new ad, girls dressed in strappy heels and pink dresses, line up to take pretty, skinny Barbie-esque dolls from a conveyor belt, with ‘Big Sister’ on screens conveying in an Orwellian overtone, “You are beauty, and beauty is perfection.”

One girl in the line-up however, doesn’t conform to pick up a doll from the conveyor belt, but destroys the screen using a hammer and alters the machine to create Goldie, a doll with blonde curly hair, red ‘Chucks’ and a hammer. The ad with the tagline, “Other dolls are built for fashion, Goldie is built for action”, should help to promote brains over beauty, essential at a time when girls decide by the age of 11 to move away from science. Something that Disney’s Frozen Elsa doll and Barbie are lacking. A recent study also suggested that playing with Barbies has an effect on young girls’ ideas on their place in the world and limits their sense of what’s possible in the future.

Goldie Doll Figurine Comes Complete with a Hammer, Red Chucks and 45-foot zipline! [Goldieblox]

If I personally had to name the biggest obstacle that I had to face during deciding on a career path it would be overcoming preconceived ideals. I’d always known that I wanted to work in the space industry, however it wasn’t a career path that was expected for a girl, especially at an all-girls school. I had to prove to others around me and to myself that it was possible. If the Goldie doll helps to mould attitudes at a young age and encourages girls to study STEM, opening up the possibilities of a science or engineering-based career, I think it’ll make a difference in the career decisions young girls eventually make. It’s a fantastic gift idea with the doll being released just in time for Christmas!

Here’s my older post on Goldieblox’s previous ad and the importance of ‘Being Inspired Young’.

Inspirational women

How To Be A Rocket Woman: Leadership Advice From Women In Tech (Part 2)

10 July, 2014
Dr.Anita Sands

Dr.Anita Sands Presenting Her Entrepreneurial Session At Communitech’s Tech Leadership Conference

During the Tech Leadership Conference I had the pleasure of meeting Dr.Anita Sands, a visionary female leader in tech and business. Dr.Anita Sands is not only an atomic & molecular physicist (PhD), she was also the youngest ever Senior Vice President at the Royal Bank of Canada, where she served as the Head of Innovation and Process Design. In addition to helping transform Citigroup’s $20B global operations and technology organization, as Managing Director and Head of Transformational Management previously in her career. She is a remarkable women with a equally outstanding background.

During her session Anita explained the presence of a “massive skill gap” in the current workforce and a lack of age diversity in the boardroom. With the average age of directors at 58, Anita discussed the need to to bring a mindset of how social and disruption will affect a company and its industry. Without diversity on boards its possible for company’s to miss the fact that their “competitors are not who they think they are” and ensure that they “create a capacity for change”.

In 2012 Concern Worldwide, the international humanitarian organization, honoured Anita with their Women of Concern award, for her leadership, contribution to public service, and empowering women throughout the world. During her session Anita described her seven “M”‘s for leadership and successful enterprise innovation:

1) Mindset: The need to have a Global Mindset from the get-go. “Innovation is a mindset”

2) Market Validation: Company’s CID/CTO should tell you whether tech works well as part of production development.

3) Market Analysis

4) Make a A Client: First client

5) Mentoring – Sales Capability and Sales client: Learn to scale

6) Management: Founder is usually an engineer and great product focus- good for first step. Need a new management team and CEO to scale. Need a board that can take you to the next level- surround yourself with that team.

7) Money: Lastly and importantly

In summary, essential traits for a successful company were to focus on your customers, disrupt yourself and build out process innovation.

The Tech Leadership Conference also featured other excellent speakers including Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing The Chasm, Dave Caputo, CEO Sandvine and Scott Bedbury, Global Brand Builder for clients including Nike, NASA and Starbucks.