Lego on Monday pledged to rid its toys of “gender biases and harmful stereotypes” in an effort to make them more accessible to girls.
The world’s largest toy maker has already stopped labeling its products as “for girls” or “for boys” and its website does not allow searches by gender, The Guardian noted.
The recent product lines have also “been specially designed to appeal to boys and girls,” Julia Goldin, the company’s director of products and marketing, told the British newspaper.
“We’re testing everything on boys and girls, and including more female models,” Goldin said.
“Our job now is to encourage boys and girls who want to play with sets that can traditionally be considered ‘not for them’,” Goldin added.
“We are working hard to make Lego more inclusive,” Goldin said.
Lego announced the push on Monday to coincide with what the UN has declared as “International Day of the Girl”.
It also followed a Geena Davis Institute’s gender audit in the media to “address gender biases and damaging stereotypes” which found that 76% of parents promote Lego games for boys, against only 24% for girls.
This research showed that girls were more likely than boys to want to engage in a wide range of games and activities, with 71% of boys worrying about being made fun of if they played with themselves. – saying “toys for girls”.
Parents are also “more worried that their sons will be teased than their daughters for playing with toys associated with the opposite sex,” Madeline Di Nonno, executive director of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Children, told The Guardian. media.
They are almost six times more likely to think of scientists and athletes as men than women – with 85% versus 15% – and more than eight times more likely to think of engineers as men than women, at 89% against only 11%.
Parents still encourage girls to dance, cook and dress up, while boys are more likely to be pushed into sports and activities involving science, technology, engineering and math, the study showed. research.
“This information underscores how ingrained gender bias is in the world,” Geena Davis, the Oscar-winning actor who founded the institute in 2004, told The Guardian.
The actress, a mother of three, said she was “encouraged” by Lego’s “commitment to this study to explain how we can dramatically inspire creativity in girls through play and storytelling.” .
“We also know that showing girls unique and non-stereotypical activities can lead to a broader perspective on possibilities and opportunities,” she said.
The study was based on a survey of nearly 7,000 parents and children aged 6 to 14 from China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.