Barbie: The Epitome of Diversity and Inclusivity Done Right

Website Banner image V2

Jennifer Mattos

In an era where diversity and inclusivity are crucial pillars for organizational success, Barbie’s journey stands out as a shining example of how to embrace and champion these values. The iconic doll has undergone a transformation that reflects our diverse world, making her an inspiration for large organizations aiming to cultivate an inclusive culture.

Representation is the building block of inclusivity. With this in mind, Barbie has made significant strides in representing everybody. This includes people with disabilities, various ethnicities, and different body types. In 2019, Barbie released a line of dolls with prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs, representing individuals with disabilities who have long felt excluded from the doll world. The brand has also released dolls representing different cultures and skin tones, such as the Barbie Fashionistas line. This move has made children feel seen and heard and changed how people view dolls and what kind of children play with them.

Internal Images

Barbie has also made a deliberate effort to ensure representation within its leadership. In 2018, the brand appointed Lisa McKnight as its first female president, showing that they are committed to changing the narrative surrounding gender in leadership. This move has encouraged other women to pursue leadership positions within the industry and beyond, making Barbie a positive force for change.

Inclusivity also involves making sure that everyone feels welcome. Barbie has done this by ensuring every child can relate to the dolls. For instance, the brand has released dolls with different body types, including tall, petite, and curvy. This revolutionary move allowed children to see beauty in all shapes and sizes. It also made children feel seen and valued, thus increasing their sense of self-worth.

Barbie has also ensured that inclusivity is not just a marketing gimmick.


Source: Mattel, Inc.

For instance, the brand has collaborated with organizations such as Black Girls Code to encourage more young girls to pursue STEM careers. Barbie has also released dolls representing real-life role models like Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart, and Katherine Johnson. This move has enabled children to see they can be anything they want, regardless of their background.

Inclusivity is not a buzzword; it is a way of life. Barbie’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity has made it a leader in this movement. By ensuring representation in their dolls and leadership, welcoming every child, and ensuring that actions match words, Barbie has shown that inclusivity is not just the right thing to do but also good business. As leaders, we must take these lessons to heart and ensure our brands represent and welcome everyone. By doing so, we not only positively impact society but also stand to reap the benefits of a more inclusive and diverse world.

Related Insights

Thought Leadership

How Can Technology Enhance the “X” Factor in Employee Experience?

According to The Economist Intelligence Unit study, 81% of the global firms agreed that employee experience is the dominant topic of discussion amongst their leadership.

Read more
White Paper

Digital Employee Onboarding: Leveraging Technology to Transform User Experience on a Joining Day

Discover how leveraging technology can revolutionize the user experience on an employee’s joining day.

Read more
Employee Experience

Episode 1: Understanding Employee Experience in 21st Century

In today’s race to compete in the digital age, strategic business leaders are grappling with the complex challenges of creating the best workplace

Read more
Contact Us

Get in touch with Quinnox Inc to understand how we can accelerate success for you.