The people have spoken: Barbie will become a computer engineer. And a news reporter.
Results of the 2009 Barbie Global Career Survey – called the ‘Girls’ Vote’ on the results announcement page – swung in favor of ‘News Anchor.’ But the ‘Popular Vote’ conducted online during the last month and promoted here has delivered geek glory: Computer Engineer Barbie. Hell yeah.
Vote totals and detailed results are not available; we would be very interested in seeing both in order to gauge the margin of victory. A landslide win might indicate that some tech-centric voters used all of their resources to ensure the right outcome. I’m not sure how they would do this, of course. Could some technically gifted person out there have used sophisticated scripts running on a cluster system to stuff the ballot box? Nah, I’m sure that didn’t happen….
Much discussion ensued on The Register’s comments pages regarding the possible clothing, gear, and work environment accessories with which such a doll might be outfitted. Suggestions included old Dilbert books, little tins of cat food, rude t-shirts and mountain boots, and a dozen frustrated “IT Kens” all vying for her attention.
Here’s the kit Mattel is going with (from its website):
To ensure the doll accurately reflects this occupation, Barbie® designers worked with the Society of Women Engineers and the National Academy of Engineering to ensure that accessories, clothing and packaging were realistic and representative of a real computer engineer. Looking geek chic, Computer Engineer Barbie® wears a t-shirt featuring binary code and computer/keyboard icon along with a pair of black knit skinny pants. Computer Engineer carries a Barbie® smart phone, fashionable laptop case, flat watch and Bluetooth earpiece. With stylish pink-frame glasses and a shiny laptop, she is ready to conquer the day’s tasks on the go or from her desk.
Stop, you’re killing me.
I’ve been around the horn a bit in this industry and have seen actual female computer engineers in the real world – and this Barbie doesn’t look like any of them. To me, she looks more like a director of marketing on casual Friday. But I could be wrong. She certainly doesn’t have nearly enough gear and accessories. Where’s the workstation? Where’s the cube? Where are the desk toy gifts from Ken?
Computer Engineer Barbie is available for pre-order now at ‘Mattel Shop’ . She’ll hit the store shelves in time for – surprise! – Christmas 2010.