What’s the story with the dolls?

You may have wondered at the number of dolls taking to construction sites across Ireland over the last few months.

These dolls are called Lottie Dolls.  They are specifically developed to empower young girls to consider careers and activities that are traditionally considered male-dominated. For example, Lottie has promoted engineering to girls in the UK.  More recently, a Lottie Doll traveled up to the International Space Station and spent time orbiting the Earth; letting girls know that they can work in any profession they want and that the sky is not in fact the limit!

Lottie is an element of our #BuildingEquality campaign that is aimed at increasing the number of women choosing to enter into the industry. Using Lottie Dolls enables us to combat prejudice against the construction industry that may start very early in life. Often by the time girls get to secondary school, they have already been dissuaded from construction or perhaps feel that the industry is simply not for them.  This essentially means that fewer girls and young women apply for engineering and construction related courses at third level and even less again consider and apprenticeship, meaning the industry suffers from a chronic shortage of women in construction. 

This campaign links us to this key audience thanks to Lottie’s many followers on Instagram and Facebook. The Donegal toymaker behind Lottie Dolls designed the dolls to challenge gender stereotyping and inspire young girls to see themselves in the construction industry.

Our Lottie Doll collaboration is just one small part of the overall #BuildingEquality campaign, but we hope that Lottie’s construction adventure will help open construction up to girls and to their parents.

Here’s what Lottie Doll CEO Ian Harkin had to say on the matter:

“Since starting Lottie we have been empowering kids, in particular girls, with STEM related activities. We want to show girls they can achieve anything and to encourage them to challenge gender stereotypes.  Lottie has been to some of the major space training sites around the world with Dr. Niamh Shaw (Irish Astronaut in training), she even visited the International Space Station as part of British astronaut Commander Tim Peaks mission spending 264 days on the space station, flying up in Orbital ATKs cargo ship and returning on Space X’s capsule.

We are partnering with the Construction Industry Federation to highlight careers for females in Construction. Before working in Toys, I worked for a large UK construction company, my first boss there was a woman and she was an inspiring leader. The industry has come a long way in the last 10 years and many women are now represented at the top table in the industry, which is amazing. If they can see women in these roles, young girls know that they too can achieve it, which is what this is all about.”

We have had a huge amount of interest in our Lottie collaboration to date and hope to keep the conversation going throughout 2018 with Lottie visiting many schools and sites around the country.

To get involved visit www.cif.ie/building-equality, follow #LottieTour or check out @lottie_dolls and @CIF_Ireland on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

If your company would like to add CIF Lottie to your team this year, please contact [email protected]

For more information on Lottie see www.lottie.com

Shane Dempsey, Communications Director, CIF

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