I grew up in the era of The Spice Girls, so ‘Girl Power’ had a profound impact on me.
I feel very fortunate to have been raised with the mentality and belief that I could be anything I wanted to be, no matter my gender.
But, as I’ve got older, I’ve become more and more aware of the stereotypes that surround us, and the boxes that many people try to put us in, whether they’re conscious of it or not. That beautiful naivety from my childhood has started to slip away.
Now, I’m very switched on to the stereotypes that surround women, particularly when it comes to their careers. Whilst I try to do my part to champion female leaders and equality in the workplace, there’s still lots of work to be done here.
I believe that a lot of this work needs to happen during childhood, which is why I really loved this Barbie advert I stumbled upon a few years ago.
The short two-minute film features a number of little girls in roles such as a professor, football coach, veterinarian. Throughout, it shows these girls taking on a leading role in a classroom, stadium and clinic, making their childhood dreams come true.
So often, we see children forced into stereotypical roles – girls playing with dolls, or boys playing sports – and I found it so refreshing to see Barbie promoting a message that ‘you can be anything’.