Fab Female Friday: Debbie Sterling is ‘Disrupting the Pink Aisle’

Walking into her first engineering class at Stanford University, Debbie immediately felt different – she didn’t fit in. Debbie was experiencing a feeling that many other female engineers understand. Why? Because out of all U.S. engineers, only 11% are women. 

Debbie knew that there was something wrong with this statistic. How can there be such a low number of women in a field that is advancing by the minute? Debbie observed that from a young age, girls in America are directed towards pretty princess toys and make-up kits. Unlike toys marketed towards boys, princess toys do not develop spatial skills or spark an interest in building and inventing. Armed with this knowledge, Debbie took on the mission of “disrupting the pink aisle” and began designing toys for the next generation of female engineers. Thus came GoldieBlox, a toy series that combines reading and building to engage every girl’s inner inventor. 

“I believe that girls can be more than just princesses,” said Debbie. Proof of this is a click away on the GoldieBlox website which showcases the creations that girls as young as 7 have engineered using GoldieBlox. 

Last April, Debbie gave a TED talk in Pennsylvania. This past week, she spoke at The Youth Assembly at the United Nations, a two day event for youth interested in social entrepreneurship. Debbie spreads the message that girls cannot be underestimated – they are our opportunity.

Engineering is a field that plays a role in almost every aspect of our lives: technology, transportation, medicine, and so much more. Imagine what will happen once all the untapped girl talent is harnessed? Thanks, Debbie, for letting us all know that – for girls – the best is yet to come! 

Comments

Submitted by Alpengirl Camp on February 7, 2014

So inspiring, thank you for sharing this story!

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