Mercedes-Benz has teamed up with Mattel to take on the sensitive topic of associating certain children’s toys with a specific gender.
Whether you are a millennial, baby boomer, or one of the generations overshadowed by the preceding two who are constantly bickering at each other, you might have heard the stereotype that “toy cars are for boys.” Societal progress begs to differ, especially as we teeter on the cusp of a brand new decade.
That’s why Mercedes and Mattel are working together to put this stigma to rest with the “No Limits” initiative. The automaker and toy company are working in collaboration with the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP), an organization that encourages girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Part of this education includes National STEM Day, which occurred on November 8. Mercedes and Mattel donated 50,000 toy cars to young girls around the United States to help them engage in activities to challenge gender stereotypes that research shows can impact decisions later in life. Some of these challenges include engineering toy race tracks, designing toy car models, and engaging with strong female role models who work in STEM-related careers.
“Whatever they aspire to be – an astronaut, engineer, judge, nurse, even the President, we want all children to dream big, dream bold and never give up on that dream,” said Mark Aikman, general manager of marketing services for Mercedes-Benz USA. “We’ve seen that stories like Ewy’s – championing women trailblazers and achievers – can have a big impact by calling into question the gender stereotypes that children may inadvertently adopt.”
Currently, women only make up roughly 29% of the current science and engineering workforce, according to data compiled by the National Science Board. In an increasingly modern world that values gender equality, it might come as a surprise to hear that this number is so low. Mercedes, Mattel, and the NGCP are working to do their small part to change this way of thinking.
“The No Limits initiative is important to the future success of our young girls,” said Karen Peterson founder and CEO of the NGCP. “Demand for workers with STEM-based skills is rapidly growing, yet women are still significantly underrepresented in these fields. We know that gender associations are formed at a very young age. We applaud Mercedes-Benz and Mattel in their efforts to breakdown the gender stereotypes that keep young girls from engaging in STEM studies.”
You can stay updated with news about the “No Limits” initiative by following #GirlsHaveNoLimits on social media.