Entrepreneurial Spotlight: Disrupting The Pink Aisle


Debbie Sterling

If you ever find yourself in a toy store, you may notice that the toys made for boys are various shades of blue, and the toys made for girls are various shades of pink. Look a little closer and you will see that the boy aisle is filled with Legos, building contraptions and characters like Jimmy Neutron; while the girl aisle is filled with Disney princesses, dolls and palaces galore.

Stanford-educated engineer, Debbie Sterling, knew she was the minority in the male-dominated engineering field. She attributes the lack of women in engineering largely to the pink aisle, and its lack of thought-provoking toys geared toward young girls. In a bold move to get more young girls into the problem-solving mindset, Sterling began to brainstorm characters and story lines that would be intended for girls, ages 5 to 9. She was so passionate about her endeavors that she even quit her job to work on the project full time. The now successful GoldieBlox includes a story line and construction set, complete with wheels, axles, blocks, a crank and pink ribbons.

Sterling spent her life savings on creating her dream toy for girls – one that not only gets girls interested in engineering, but also builds their self-confidence and develops their spatial skills. With 89% of engineers being male, they are solving some of the biggest challenges our society faces and are earning higher salaries with greater job security. Sterling is determined to have a greater female representation in the mix to help build our world’s future. According to the company’s website, “GoldieBlox will nurture a generation of girls who are more confident, courageous and tech-savvy, giving them a real opportunity to contribute to the progress made by engineers in our society.”

Here at Far West Capital, we really get fired up when we hear about entrepreneurs like Sterling who are passionate about shaking things up. Since launching GoldieBlox in 2012, Sterling has seen rapid success as she works to unleash the potential of women in America. Her ingenuity and spirit of purpose will give her continued success as she fights to make a difference in the pink aisle. What do you have the potential to unleash?

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