What Barbie Tells Us About Women

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Jun 23, 2014    •    1214 Views

Our Monday gender issue focus

Equipped with a smart phone, a tablet and her distinctively shapely proportions, pink-clad Entrepreneur Barbie just arrived.

Because Barbie reflects what has become culturally acceptable, I guess we should applaud her newest incarnation. In 1959, Barbie (her name was Barbie Millicent Roberts from Willows, Wisconsin) began as a teenage fashion model but since then, examples of her 150 professions include astronaut, presidential candidate, Women’s World Cup Soccer player, surgeon and news anchor.

The one missing category was CEO.

Entrepreneur Barbie

From: Salon

So yes, now as an entrepreneur, we can finally expect her to run a firm. Tweeting, “Remember if you can dream it, you can be it,” she takes the first step. But according to a Dell study, here is what else she will need:

Entrepreneurs Success SSRN-id1604653__1__pdf

And, she is in the right place. Looking at entrepreneurial ecosystems, business environments, and entrepreneurial aspiration, according to the Dell study, the most welcoming entrepreneurial environments are in Australia, Sweden, and the United States.

Covering 30 countries, here are the best places to be a female entrepreneur:

In several nations, including the United States, the environment supports entrepreneurs.

From: Dell

And finally, I guess it did not matter that Barbie broke up with Ken for several years before they got together again:

Most female entrepreneurs are married.

From: Dell

Our bottom line: Barbie is a barometer of normal. If she is an entrepreneur, then women have indeed begun fully to contribute their human capital in the US.

Did you own a Barbie doll? Her profession? The year? Maybe we can gather some of our own Barbie history. Please let us know in a comment.

Sources and more...Complementing a long fun list of Barbie facts and Barbie history, this Salon article has a critique of Entrepreneur Barbie, and then I recommend the Dell study and this academic report for entrepreneur data.

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