In promotion of a new campaign focused on advocating for female inclusivity in the consumption of their products, LEGO has announced that they will be taking steps “to ensure LEGO products and marketing are accessible to all and free of gender bias and harmful stereotypes.”
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Launched on October 10th, also known as the UN’s International Day of the Girl, LEGO’s new ‘Ready for Girls’ campaign, according to the company, “aims to help girls rebuild the story and welcome more girls to LEGO building, ensuring they aren’t losing out on the benefits of LEGO play due to societal expectations.”
LEGO is apparently seeking to push back against the perception that their products are “a good example of an inclusive toy brand,” as according to a research study commissioned by them in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute, “LEGO play is still considered more relevant to boys than girls, with 59% of parents saying they encourage their sons to build with LEGO bricks compared to 48% who say they encourage it with their daughters.”
“This view became more pronounced when parents were asked to complete an implicit bias assessment and 76% said they would encourage LEGO play to a son vs. 24% who would recommend it to a daughter,” the company added.
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To that end, LEGO has promised that “The ‘Ready for Girls’ campaign aims to help girls rebuild the story and welcome more girls to LEGO building, ensuring they aren’t losing out on the benefits of LEGO play due to societal expectations,” while additionally assuring their customers that “the company will ensure any child, regardless of gender identify, feels they can build anything they like, playing in a way that will help them develop and realize their unique talent.”
“The company is committed to making LEGO play more inclusive and ensuring that children’s creative ambitions – both now [and] in the future – are not limited by gender stereotypes,” LEGO continued. “We know there is work to do which is why from 2021, we will work closely with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and UNICEF to ensure LEGO products and marketing are accessible to all and free of gender bias and harmful stereotypes.”
LEGO Group CMO Julia Goldin further added, “The benefits of creative play such as building confidence, creativity and communication skills are felt by all children and yet we still experience age-old stereotypes that label activities as only being suitable for one specific gender.”
“At the LEGO Group we know we have a role to play in putting this right, and this campaign is one of several initiatives we are putting in place to raise awareness of the issue and ensure we make LEGO play as inclusive as possible,” she concluded. “All children should be able to reach their true creative potential.”
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Curiously, though LEGO’s campaign boasts of the need to help girls, the research conducted actually shows that though parents are more likely to imagine nearly any career professional as a male, boys are suffering more by every other metric.
For example, LEGO states that “Girls feel less restrained by and are less supportive of typical gender biases than boys when it comes to creative play (74% of boys vs. 62% of girls believe that some activities are just meant for girls, while others are meant for boys)”.
Further, they also found that “71% of boys vs. 42% of girls say they worry about being made fun of if they play with a toy typically associated for the other gender.”
What do you make of LEGO’s promise to rid their toys of “gender bias and harmful stereotypes”? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!