Entrepreneur Barbie
Entrepreneur Barbie will mark Barbie's 150th career since her creation in 1956 by inventor Ruth Handler. Courtesy Photo

Barbie, the princess, is no more. She’s got a new job, and she’s ready to be CEO. Of all 150 jobs Barbie has had since her creation in 1956, this will be her biggest gig yet: entrepreneur. Mattel is “breaking through plastic ceilings” to inspire girls by using real-life women entrepreneurs who exemplify Barbie’s latest profession in an outstanding way. One of those ten women is Puerto Rican Gina Rudan, president of a global marketing and talent development consulting practice based in Silicon Valley called Genuine Insights, Inc., and author of the best-selling book “Practical Genius.” Rudan said she was honored to be one of the inspirations for Entrepreneur Barbie given her admiration of Ruth Handler, the creator and inventor of Barbie. Handler was an entrepreneur herself during a time when women were expected to be homemakers. She introduced her product on her own, modeled after her daughter Barbara, and then went on to become co-founder of Mattel.

“It’s a huge honor for me to celebrate the Entrepreneur Barbie. This is her 150th career, and it’s long overdue!” exclaimed Rudan. The entrepreneur praised Barbie and Mattel for continuing to stay relevant over decades. “She not only has stayed relevant, but to some degree, I think she’s always reflective of what’s going on in our communities. Barbie has been a president, she’s been an astronaut, she’s been an athlete, she’s been a princess and she’s been a vet. I think that Barbie and Mattel -- again, giving a shout-out to Ruth Handler -- has always allowed the doll to reinvent and reflect women of the day.”

Rudan pointed out that Entrepreneur Barbie comes at a time when women -- particularly women of color -- are increasingly starting their own businesses due to barriers in the workplace. She said there’s an estimated 10 million small business owners in the United States who are women and a third of those business owners are Hispanic female business owners. “I think young girls and women of color face a continual challenge with visibility within organizations, also internal fear, insecurity and advancement opportunities are slim. Many women of color, as a career coach I see this, many women of color are leaving organizations to start their own businesses because of these barriers: barriers for advancement, barriers for visibility, barriers for promotion, barriers for pay increases, the wage gap continues. I think for women of color especially, we’re taking our future and our destiny into our own hands and this is definitely the case with Latina business owners.”

Entrepreneur Barbies
Entrepreneur Barbie comes in four ethnicities -- Hispanic, Asian, White and African-American. Amazon.com

Entrepreneur Barbie is available in four ethnicities -- Hispanic, Asian, White and African-American -- and comes with a smartphone, tablet and handbag. This Barbie also has her own LinkedIn page, too. She made her debut with a Twitter chat inviting women to share their stories of becoming entrepreneurs themselves. Though, some criticized the doll for her hot pink, fitted dress and usual unrealistic body portions. Yet, this isn’t new. Critics have been frustrated with Barbie’s tiny waist, thin arms and big bust for many years. In January when a Jennifer Lopez Barbie came out, some fans were upset about the doll lacking J.Lo’s famous curves.

Despite what Barbie looks like, Rudan says her mission is the advancement of women within the corporate environment and outside it, and she thinks Entrepreneur Barbie can provide a way for young girls to create bigger, more ambitious dreams and foster a business sense. “The creative sensibility that we are all born with is lost for many of us as adults. Moms out there, I need you to play with your daughters. I need you to role-play startups. Take her passions and create scenarios, business scenarios for her. I think that part of the celebration of Entrepreneur Barbie is to really foster innovation. Get her to create something, to design something.” For more information on Entrepreneur Barbie, visit barbie.com/entrepreneuer. She is available now on Amazon and will be available in stores nationwide in August.

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