Toy manufacturer Lego will remove gender stereotypes from its products.
The decision comes after a study proved that young girls are still being held back by gender stereotypes with general attitudes remaining “unequal and restrictive”.
Lego will now make products that are “free of gender bias and harmful stereotypes”.
“The benefits of creative play such as building confidence, creativity and communication skills are felt by all children and yet we still experience age-old stereotypes that label activities as only being suitable for one specific gender,” Julia Goldin, Lego’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement.
“At the LEGO Group we know we have a role to play in putting this right. The company will ensure any child, regardless of gender identity, feels they can build anything they like, playing in a way that will help them develop and realise their unique talent.”
We welcome this positive news, but yes – the increased “pink/blue” divide in their toys post 1980s & the negative effects of gender stereotyping on children is something we’ve been raising with @LEGO_Group since our campaign started in 2012 #lettoysbetoys https://t.co/ToQCNGVTve pic.twitter.com/bhOOaXQYpu
— Let Toys Be Toys (@LetToysBeToys) October 11, 2021
According to Lego, “girls are ready for the world but society isn’t quite ready to support their growth through play”. For instance, 76% of parents said they would encourage their sons to play with Lego, compared with 24% who would recommend Lego to their daughters.
To mark International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October, Lego is collaborating with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to commission new research into the impact of gendered products and marketing on children.
They have found that girls today feel “less restrained by and are less supportive of typical gender biases” but continue to be held back by “society’s ingrained gender stereotypes”.
The company has not outlined what changes it will make to its existing product lines and marketing.