Mattel’s Barbie was recently inducted as a lifetime member of NextUp, the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing all women in business. For NextUp, this is an honor rarely bestowed, with only a few women previously receiving this distinction. But why Barbie?
Since 1959, the purpose of the Barbie brand has been to inspire the limitless potential in every girl. That message is still relevant today.
“Inducting Barbie as a lifetime member is especially important as Barbie has been an iconic symbol of empowerment, representing more than 250 jobs and careers, from President of the United States to astronaut, fashion designer, pilot, computer engineer, doctor, and so many more, and along the way, inspiring young girls everywhere to believe they can be anything,” said Lisa Baird, CEO of NextUp. “We are spotlighting Barbie, along with 100 remarkable women and their allies, who are making significant strides in business at every level in the You Are NextUp campaign. The program also features leaders from our many Fortune 500 national corporate partners and regional sponsor companies, which will all showcase the theme ‘You are NextUp.’ Having Barbie be a part of NextUp is another step Barbie can use to further her platform to help girls dream bigger than ever before.”
Target, a long-time supporter of both Barbie and women in leadership roles, proudly sponsored Barbie's lifetime membership with NextUp. In honor of the You Are NextUp campaign, NextUp and Mattel donated 500 Barbie Career Dolls to the Union League Boys & Girls Club of Chicago in support of their SMART Girls programming. This initiative aims to foster leadership roles for young girls interested in pursuing careers in business and inspire the next generation. This donation and support was a natural for NextUp as Chicago is where the organization is headquartered.
Featured in the You Are NextUp campaign are 100 leaders from NextUp’s many Fortune 500 national corporate partner and regional sponsor companies, such as Accenture, Advantage Solutions, Albertsons, Altria, Beam Suntory, BISSELL Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, Deloitte, General Mills, Hain Celestial, Hallmark, Hershey, JOH, Kroger, Mattel, Mondelēz International, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Sanofi’s Consumer Healthcare, Target, and many more.
The campaign was launched in Chicago during NextUp’s Leadership Summit with had an unprecedented 1,600 attendees, making it the highest in-person attendance in the organization’s 22-year history and representing more than 17,000 NextUp members.
One of the iconic women featured is glass ceiling breaker Anna Sutherland Bissell, one of the country’s first female CEOs, who took over running the Bissell Carpet Sweeper Co. in 1889. Bissell has been advancing women since 1876 and Anna Sutherland Bissell was not only a pioneering businesswoman, but she was also an advocate for women’s rights.
“‘You Are NextUp’ is more than a campaign,” noted Lisa Baird. “We know that companies who embrace gender diversity in the workplace increase their profitability by 21 percent or more. We also know that companies with 30 percent more female executives are more likely to outperform other companies by ten-to-30 percent. NextUp helps women and companies succeed. In today’s economy, we need equitable workplaces more than ever before. We are all truly NextUp.”
NextUp’s vision is a professional world where equity has been achieved and women have seats at every table. The NextUp community is thriving as more women make a substantial impact on their companies’ success and reach their career goals in record time. However, NextUp exists out of necessity. Even as gains are made with women in leadership, new challenges emerge and women have yet to cross the finish line of achieving total equality in the workplace. NextUp helps women bring that vision into reality and creates a world where women have equal opportunities at work and equal opportunities to build their lives and careers exactly the way they want them. For more information about the “You Are NextUp” campaign or to learn more about NextUp, visit nextupisnow.org.
For more than 20 years, NextUp has brought professional women, allies and corporate partners together to champion gender equity and Advance All Women in Business. NextUp has a powerful, growing community of more than 17,000 members and 300+ national corporate partners and regional sponsors. NextUp works to create leadership opportunities, amplify women’s voices in the workplace and ensure that all women in business can seize opportunities now and in the future. To learn more about NextUp, visit nextupisnow.org or on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram @nextupisnow.