Photo: Courtesy of Lego.
Sad to say, but it took a seven-year-old to point out the obvious to Lego. With a major gender disparity in the toymaker's figurines, young Charlotte Benjamin also noted in a letter she wrote earlier this year, female figurines were more likely to go to the beach and shop, while male ones "went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs." What an outdated paradigm to instill in young minds.
Luckily, Charlotte's letter inspired the toymaker to take action. Lego just introduced a minifigure set of scientists, who all just happen to be women. The set, which was designed by geoscientist Ellen Kooijman, features an astronomer, a chemist, and a paleontologist. Each minifigure comes with appropriate props for the profession, such as a telescope, dinosaur skeleton, and chemistry set.
Adding proof to the "why did it take so long" fire is the fact that the set has already sold out. Or, to paraphrase the thesis of this CBS News article, obviously.
Janet Bandows Koster, the executive director of the Association for Women in Science, confirms women's increasing involvement in STEM fields in an email to CBS MoneyWatch. "Today, more women in the U.S. than ever before are earning degrees in so-called STEM fields, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics," Koster writes.
There's clearly a demand for equal-opportunity career depiction in our children's toys. Let's keep at it, Lego. (CBS News)