Mattel's new Barbie beckons girls to STEM jobs

Life is no longer just about fashion for Barbie.

After a 59-year career as figurehead of Mattel's (MAT) brand of dolls and accessories, Barbie's maker has found another line of work for her: robotics engineer, one of Barbie's more than 200 jobs. (According to Mattel, Barbie's varied career has also included stints as an astronaut, scientist, video game developer and computer engineer.)

Replete with a computer, robot and safety glasses, the African-American version of the new doll drew rave reviews by two girls learning how to program and code at an Oakland, California, nonprofit called Black Girls Code.

I can like totally relate to her!" 11-year-old Sumayyah Green told local CBS affiliate KPX 5. "She looks like me, she has the same interests as me." 

"And she has a puff! I'm like, 'Yasss?'" exclaimed Kimora Oliver, 15. "Like her, I love science. It's my favorite subject in school," she said, adding: "I think other girls will see this and be like, 'I want to get in tech too!'"

"Black Girls Code is breaking barriers, pushing down walls and really empowering our girls to let them know they can be here," said Amber Morse, the organization's West Coast program coordinator. 

The new Barbie is designed to encourage girls' interest in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, and highlight a field where women are underrepresented. So Mattel partnered with Tynker, a game-based platform that helps kids learn to code, in launching six coding experiences at tynker.com/BarbieYCBA

The codes experiences are free, while the Barbie robotics engineer doll costs $14.