Control engineer Barbie--almost
April 14, 2010
About a year ago I offered a suggestion that for Barbie’s 50th birthday, Mattel should create a control engineer Barbie to encourage girls to go into industrial engineering. They didn’t pick up on my suggestion, however, they now seem to be a step closer.
In today’s Chicago Tribune, columnist Melissa Harris says that Mattel is bringing out a computer engineer Barbie as part of its “I can be…” series. In the design process they consulted with Betty Shanahan, CEO of the Society of Women Engineers to make sure they got it right. For example, she told them that engineers don’t wear lab coats.
Shanahan thinks this is a great idea. “Little girls don’t hear the word ‘engineer,’ never mind think of it as a career option,” she says in the article. This profession beat anchor woman, environmentalist, surgeon, and architect in voting for possible portrayals.
The new doll is scheduled for release in the fall. She wears stylish glasses and carries a pink laptop. This is Barbie after all.
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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.