When I was a little girl I would spend countless hours playing barbies and polly pockets, I would design little outfits out of leaves and twigs that I found in the woods and make huts for them out of branches and moss. These were some of my first toys and my most memorable play experiences, and to this day I question if a better college path for me would have been to go to SCAD in Savannah Georgia for Fashion Design.
Research shows that the toys children grow up playing with influence the career path they choose. Often Engineers will remember playing with legos or tinker toys when they were little, and fashion designers will have played with dolls and barbies. Isn't that interesting? How influential the toys we played with affect the rest of our lives, our careers?!
The toys that children play with when they are little, are shown to limit the career paths that they eventually choose between when they reach college. Like I said earlier I played with polly pockets and barbies, and yes, I definitely considered going into fashion design. The thought of being an Engineer never crossed my mind, what if I would have tinkered with legos and played with the GoldiBlox zipline girl instead of barbie dolls? Might I have become a master at small engine repair like my brother is or an Engineer?
I feel that when we are little, we play play play. Play with barbies, play with legos, play with tinker toys, and then we start school. We don't play or explore, we do what we are told to do and play the sports that the school offers us.
And then we hit graduation. Time to decide on our majors. What are our interests? What do we like to do? The last time we really had our "own" interests was when we were playing with our toys as little girls and boys. This directly reflects the career path we choose.
What if girls had engineer type toys like these GoldiBlox toys to play with when they are little and boys had design kits?
What if kids continued being exposed to play and choices and unique experiences throughout their high school years?
What if high school graduates weren't expected to decide their life path the second they graduate from high school and could take a year to play and explore and discover themselves?
Would there be more female engineers in a world that is changing in this direction? Would more guys feel like they can choose a design path? This could be the beginning to the end of gender inequality.
What toys did you play with when you are little? Do they reflect your college major or career path?