The 17 inspirational women getting their own Barbie dolls, from NASA’s Katherine Johnson to UK boxer Nicola Adams

Ahead of this week’s International Women’s Day, Barbie maker Mattel is honouring 17 female role models from the worlds of art, sport, design and film. 

The diverse Barbie dolls feature in Mattel’s Shero and Inspiring Women series and include the pioneering NASA mathematician and physicist Katherine Johnson, one of the stars of Hollywood film Hidden Figures, entrepreneur Leyla Piedayesh, UK boxer Nicola Adams OBE, and Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. 

 Renowned artist Frida Kahlo and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart also feature. The program launched in 2015 and has previously honoured ballerina Misty Copeland, director Ava DuVernay and body activist and model, Ashley Graham

“As a brand that inspires the limitless potential in girls, Barbie will be honouring its largest line up of role models timed to International Women’s Day because we know that you can’t be what you can’t see,” said Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and general manager, Barbie. “Girls have always been able to play out different roles and careers with Barbie and we are thrilled to shine a light on real-life role models to remind them that they can be anything.”

The announcement has been made in the same week the world is gearing up to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March. IWD is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and aims to highlight gender parity. The first IWD took place in 1908 and 2018’s theme is Press for Progress. 

The full list of 14 new Shero models and three Inspiring Women models is below

  • Patty Jenkins, filmmaker 
  • Chloe Kim, snowboarding champion
  • Bindi Irwin, conservationist 
  • Nicola Adams, boxing champion 
  • Çağla Kubat, windsurfer 
  • Hélène Darroze, chef, France
  • Hui Ruoqi, volleyball champion
  • Leyla Piedayesh, designer and entrepreneur 
  • Lorena Ochoa, professional golfer
  • Martyna Wojciechowska, journalist 
  • Sara Gama, footballer 
  • Xiaotong Guan, actress and philanthropist 
  • Yuan Tan, prima ballerina, China
  • Vicky Martin Berrocal, entrepreneur and fashion designer 
  • Amelia Earhart, aviation pioneer
  • Frida Kahlo, artist
  • Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician and physicist 

Mattel is also asking people to share the female role models who inspire them using the hashtag #MoreRoleModels. For the record, International Men’s Day is 19 November. 

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