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University of Leicester Chancellor Honoured with Unique Barbie Doll for International Women’s Day

A space scientist, who has recently been named Chancellor of the University of Leicester, has been honoured with a Barbie doll in her image, to celebrate International Women’s Day and British Science Week.

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock has been named as a ‘Barbie Role Model’ for her work promoting science careers to girls.

Picture: Mattel/Michael Bowles

It comes ahead of International Women’s Day on Wednesday and British Science Week from 10-19 March.

Dr Aderin-Pocock is best known for her presenting work on the BBC’s ‘Sky at Night,’ as well as her work looking deep into space with the James Webb telescope.

She recently took up the role of Chancellor at the University of Leicester.

Her one-of-a-kind Barbie, wears a starry dress and comes with a telescope accessory for stargazing.

“I want to inspire the next generation of scientists, especially girls, and let them know that STEM is for them,” said the 54-year-old.

“I hope my doll will remind girls that when you reach for the stars, anything is possible.”

Dr Maggie continued: “As a black woman I’ve found that I don’t always fit some people’s perception of a scientist. We often have stereotypical images of what people do, and I like to smash those stereotypes whenever I get the opportunity.

“As a child growing up, I played with Barbies, and I still do now with my daughter. When I was little, Barbie didn’t look like me, so to have one created in my likeness is mind-boggling. It’s such an honour to receive this doll that is celebrating my achievements.”

Kelly Philp, Marketing director, Mattel UK commented: “We know that globally STEM is a field widely recognised as underrepresenting women so, as a brand, Barbie is committed to showing girls more STEM careers. In the UK, research tells us women make up only 26% of the STEM workforce so showcasing an exciting career in space science like Dr Maggie’s is just one way we are inspiring girls to think differently about their career opportunities.”

In the UK, previous Barbie Role Models include vaccine creator Professor Sarah Gilbert, beauty founder Pat McGrath, broadcaster Clara Amfo, fastest woman in British history Dina Asher-Smith, champion skateboarder Sky Brown, activist and model Adwoa Aboah, and Boxer Nicola Adams. 

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