Monday, August 24, 2015

Project Mc2 - Stand back I'm going to try science!

Not since the Software Engineer Barbie have I been so happy to see a toy that encourages positive views on women in STEM. Bonus points because Project Mc2 is actually also a learning toy.

Project Mc2 is a multimedia campaign to encourage girls in science and technology and give them some adorkable role models to aspire to.

Netflix has started a straight to streaming video series where 3 young girls use science to solve problems and save the day. The girls are cute and savvy and excellent role models for young girls - the group are well dressed and well spoken. There's no dungeon geeks or lab coat tropes here just tween stars in a familiar youth programming format. There might possibly be a touch of manic pixie dream girl fashion sense... 3 episodes are available on Netflix and included with a subscription the service.


Along with the series an app and a toy series have also been released. The app is an investigator point and click adventure that challenges the user to act like an Mc2 girl and solve mysteries. Sadly only for iOS so far you can download it on the Apple Store

The toys are a wonderful range of the characters from the series that combine just about everything one could want in a toy - fashion doll, science experiment and a range of interests including chemistry, tech and fabrication.

These dolls offer the recipient the chance to experience what interests them in the toy rather than dictating what element should be of interest. Child safe chemistry ingredients included but adult supervision probably advised. Additional experiments can also be bought independent of the dolls including a lab kit, interactive devices and more. Buy them on Amazon or at your local toy store.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Managing bias with free resources

Unconscious biases are those triggers that without our control influence our actions. They might be the job you expect someone to have because of their appearance or the intelligence you anticipate a candidate has due to their accent.

For under represented minorities in the work place biases have real and lasting negative affects - work is attributed to another colleague, skills are down played and interviews are unsuccessful. This can be due to any manner of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, appearance, age or other diversity dimension.

When we move away from seeing diversity as more than just a pipeline issue bias management is an effective tool in finding the unfair and negative actions people commit due to their biases. For many companies today it is one of the most important trends in people management.

At Google unconscious bias training is taken very seriously with over 25000 employees having attended training. The Google bias workshop is available for free on YouTube:

Facebook is also now releasing all of it's managing bias training online. You can watch from their page via Vimeo at Their online training is comprehensive and covers stereotypes, likeability, performance expectations and the business case for inclusiveness.