Over Half Of Canadian Girls Aspire To Be Their Own Boss

Angus Reid Public Opinion survey for The Barbie(R) "I Can Be(TM)..." program reveals how girls' aspirations have evolved over the years due to role models, education and gender equality.

Launch of Barbie(R) "I Can Be(TM)..." Programs Include National Contest to Win a $5,000 RESP

TORONTO, March 10 /CNW/ - Whether it's by choosing to become a CEO over a secretary, a principal over a teacher or a doctor over a nurse, Canadian girls today are aspiring to reach beyond the career ambitions of generations before them. These findings are according to a survey conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion on behalf of Barbie(R); who, after five decades, continues to inspire girls by allowing them to explore a world of possibilities. The study compared the aspirations of Canadian girls today aged 8-12 to the past ambitions of women aged 40 and over when they were the same age. Results reveal that girls today are inspired more than ever to succeed, with the majority (54%) of those surveyed being optimistic that nothing can stop them from achieving their dreams.

Results indicate that of 700 respondents (350 girls aged 8-12, 350 women aged 40+), young Canadian girls are looking beyond their gender when setting career goals - with only 4% identifying that being a girl may prevent them from getting their dream job. This compares to a significantly higher 23% of women who felt the same when they were younger.

The survey, conducted in follow-up to Barbie's 125th and 126th career announcement as well as the celebration of her 50th Birthday last year, shows that Barbie is not the only one whose aspirations and career objectives continue to grow through generations. Girls are also striving to have more success in the business world with 51% of respondents aspiring to own their own company over being a stay-at-home mom (17%) or working for someone else (32%). In the past, women would have rather worked for someone else (54%) than been the owner of a company (20%), or a stay-at-home mom (26%).

"The results of this survey suggest that Canadian girls today are aware of wider range of opportunities, and have a different set of priorities when it comes to looking to their future careers compared to their moms' generation", said Laura Davies, SVP at Angus Reid Public Opinion. When asked about their dream jobs, 50% of girls identified "I get to be at home with my family" as a priority, compared to only 20% of women. This, combined with the overwhelming majority of girls (83%) stating that they would rather work than stay at home, can show that girls today don't feel they have to choose between work and family but that they can take on both.

Amongst the reasons for this evolution may be that today's female youth having more positive role models, who have already broken some of these boundaries. When asked about role models, more than half of the girls surveyed (59%) agreed that Barbie(R) helps inspire kids to believe that they can be whatever they want to be in life.

Barbie(R) "I Can Be(TM)..."

As part of a global initiative, the Barbie(R) "I Can Be(TM)..." campaign is launching in Canada with a variety of activities that encourage girls to dream, discover and explore a world without limits. "Barbie continues to be a relevant role model to girls as they grow, showing that role play can lead to real life opportunities," says Adriana Gut, Brand Manager for Barbie. "The Barbie I Can Be... Academy taking place this spring, with an event in Toronto on March 20th and 21st will encourage girls to try on different Barbie roles and careers in a fun and interactive way." Gut adds, "for the past five decades, Barbie has continued to believe in and inspire Canadian girls to play out their dreams and aspirations. These programs reinforce what Barbie is all about - a role model and agent of change for girls."

Barbie(R) "I Can Be(TM)..." Academy Goes Bata for Career Choices

This March Break, all Canadians who will be in the Toronto area are invited to the I Can Be Academy hosted by Barbie at the Bata Shoe Museum. The event will include career "activity stations" showcasing some of Barbie's careers including surfer, vet, racecar driver, ballerina, rock star and dentist. At each career station, girls will participate in fun role play activities to earn a "badge" and upon completion of the Academy the girls will walk the "Career Walk of Fame" where Barbie will grant them their diploma.

    
    - Where:  Bata Shoe Museum
              327 Bloor Street West
              Toronto, ON M5S 1W7
              (416) 979-7799

    - When:   Saturday, March 20, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. &
              Sunday, March 21 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

    - Who:    Girls aged 5-12

    - Price:  Free with regular admission to the Bata Shoe Museum
    

For more information, please visit www.barbie.ca/icanbe.

Barbie(R) "I Can Be(TM)..." Believing in Canadian Girls

In an effort to support the future career goals of young girls, Barbie is also launching a national contest where girls can enter to win a $5000 CDN Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). To enter, girls can visit www.barbie.ca/icanbe and submit a short video or written story answering questions like: What is your dream role or career? Which Barbie career is your favourite? And, who do you most admire? The contest, now available at www.barbie.ca/icanbe, runs until April 4th, 2010.

"With the national contest, Barbie is encouraging girls to look at the vast world of opportunities in front of them and explore what they want to achieve in life," said Gut. "The $5000 RESP prize awarded to the winner will help her get a head start on achieving her personal goals."

Additional Barbie(R) "I Can Be(TM)..." Survey Highlights

    
    -   A majority of girls agree (59%) that Barbie is an inspiration to
        them.

    -   Over half of girls (51%) want to have their own company, compared to
        only 1 in 5 women (20%) 40+ who wanted to have their own company when
        they were 8-12 years old.

    -   Girls aged 8-12 (26%) are significantly less likely than women 40+
        (53%) are to say they would choose becoming a secretary than owning
        their own company.

    -   Girls aged 8-12 (37%) are significantly less likely than women 40+
        (47%) are to say they would choose to be a stay-at-home mom than a
        working mom.

    -   Girls aged 8-12 would choose traditional career choices in half as
        many categories as women 40+:

        -  Girls aged 8-12: Actress (80%) over Movie Director (20%), Teacher
           (77%) over Principal (23%)

        -  Women 40+: Actress (80%) over Movie Director (20%), Teacher (79%)
           over Principal (21%), Nurse (56%) over Doctor (44%), Secretary
           (53%) over Owner of a company (47%)
    

About Mattel

Mattel, Inc., (NYSE: MAT, www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie(R), the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels(R), Matchbox(R), American Girl(R), Radica:(R) and Tyco(R) R/C, as well as Fisher-Price(R) brands, including Little People(R), Power Wheels(R) and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. Mattel is recognized as one of the 100 Most Trustworthy U.S. Companies by Forbes Magazine and is ranked among the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by CRO Magazine. Committed to ethical manufacturing practices, Mattel marks a 10-year milestone in 2007 for its ever-evolving Global Manufacturing Principles and focus on sustainable business practices. With global headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 30,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Mattel's vision is to be the world's premier toy brands - today and tomorrow.

Methodology

Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted two online surveys, among 350 Canadian girls ages 8 to 12 and 350 Canadian women ages 40 and over, from February 12th to February 17th, 2010. The sample was actively selected from the Angus Reid Forum panel of 99,000 Canadian adults and their children, and weighted according to the most current census data to ensure a representative sample of the female child and female adult population of Canada. The margin of error is estimated at +/-5.24%, at 95% confidence level. Any discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

SOURCE Mattel Canada, Inc.

For further information: For further information: on the study results, the national contest, the "I Can Be..." Academy or to arrange an interview, please contact: Shelley Fremont, GCI Group: Shelley.fremont@gcicanada.com or (416) 486-5921; Naz Araghian, GCI Group: naz.araghian@gcicanada.com or (416) 486-7225

Organization Profile

Mattel Canada, Inc.

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