The European Space Agency and Barbie team up to encourage girls into space

The European Space Agency and Barbie team up to encourage girls into space
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by Jessica Tabinor on


  • The European Space Agency (ESA) and Barbie have collaborated to showcase the achievements of Samantha Cristoforetti, the only active female astronaut in Europe.

  • The campaign will begin with a number of motivational videos being released, in which Ms Cristoforetti will show young girls from the UK, Germany, France and Italy around the ESA European Astronaut centre in Cologne.

  • Get inspired by our ‘Inclusive Role Models’ series which uses video and written interviews to showcase inspirational people from all walks of life, across industries such as engineering, technology and sport. 

The European Space Agency (ESA) and Barbie have collaborated to showcase the achievements of Samantha Cristoforetti, the only active female astronaut in Europe.

The doll aims to spark the imagination of the next generation of astronauts, space scientists and aeronautical engineers to encourage young girls into the space industry.

The new initiative forms part of the toy brand’s Dream Gap Project, an on-going initiative with the goal of closing the “dream gap” – a phenomenon that refers to the combination of barriers that impede girls from achieving their dreams or reaching their full potential.

Isabel Ferrer, European Director of Marketing for Barbie, said:

“We are proud to launch this collaboration with the ESA with a clear goal: to inspire girls to become the next generation of astronauts, engineers and space scientists.”

“Barbie has always shown girls that they can be anything, giving them the opportunity to interpret different roles through play and embark on countless number of careers encouraging imagination and self-expression.”

“We know how important it is for girls to have role models and this new ESA collaboration helps us to take this to an astronomical new level.”

The campaign will begin with a number of motivational videos being released, in which Ms Cristoforetti will show girls from the UK, Germany, France and Italy around the ESA European Astronaut centre in Cologne.

(Images sourced via ESA/Mattel)

To accompany this, the ESA is planning to produce kids-targeted content on Barbie’s YouTube channel which will showcase Ms Cristoforetti’s achievements in space.

As part of the partnership, Barbie also commissioned a report to try and gauge parental attitudes and knowledge around STEM subjects. The survey of 2000 parents revealed that 80% admitted that they lacked the basic knowledge of STEM careers. To address this, Barbie and the ESA have released a set of helpful STEM career tips for parents and guardians to both understand and teach their children that there are many career opportunities in STEM-related fields.

Ersilia Vaudo-Scarpetta, Chief Diversity Officer for ESA, said:

“The European Space Agency is strongly engaged in promoting girls’ interest in STEM subjects and space careers in particular, as we need a diversity of talents to imagine and enable the future in space.”

“We are therefore proud to launch ESA’s collaboration with Barbie, highlighting inspiring role models as the astronauts and encouraging girls to believe in themselves, look at the sky and dream high.”

Although astronaut Barbie doll isn’t available to purchase, Samantha Cristoforetti has been presented with a one-of-a-kind doll, representing her in her spacesuit. However, the ESA has suggested that we can ‘never say never’ as the collaboration is long-term, meaning there could be the opportunity to develop a doll in the future.

Morson’s Inclusive Role Models

Operating in traditionally male-dominated sectors, Morson has long been a vocal contributor to the diversity conversation.

Our ‘Inclusive Role Models’ campaign uses video and written interviews to showcase inspirational people from all walks of life, across industries such as engineering, technology and sport. 

To get inspired by our role models series, click here to read, watch and absorb the interviews and stories.

Our aim is to showcase the achievements of relatable role models to the younger generation in order for them to take inspiration and look up to. We hope to #TransformTheFuture by breaking down barriers and encourage a wider talent pool into the industry; whilst also providing a positive platform to encourage career transitioning between sectors.

The concept of ‘seeing is believing’ is extremely powerful, with studies showing that students are more likely to choose particular careers when they’re exposed to situations and scenarios where they can imagine themselves in their shoes.

If you would like to read the stories of our role models, specifically working in the Aerospace industry, check out our favourites below:

Morson is the No.1 aerospace recruiter, supplying the aerospace and defence industry for 50 years. Ready to find your next role? Search our Aerospace & Defence jobs here.

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