8 year old Olivia Steger already knows more about the cultural institutionalization of labor market segmentation by gender than most economists. She wrote this letter to the editors of Dwell Magazine telling them that they really should consider sending a girl more than just an Architect Barbie (also, what architect dresses like that?) if they want to encourage ladies to enter the field. She suggests such things as books or field trips if they really want to change the culture of women’s work. This little feminist is had the profound notion that girls need more than just dolls to engage themselves in a male-dominated field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women were 13.6% of architecture and engineering occupations in 2011. Marketing barbies without accompanying books to actually teach girls probably isn’t helping much against years of directing men and women into different occupations (where the male-dominated ones tend to pay more than the female-dominated ones). But hopefully with young ladies like Olivia, this labor market trend can start moving in a more equitable direction.