An Australian doctor is among six professionals being honoured for their work by having Barbie dolls modelled on them.
Key points: Kirby White founded Gowns for Doctors which developed reusable gowns for use during the pandemic She is one of six women being honoured with a Barbie made in her likeness The other six include a co-developer of the AstraZeneca vaccine, a frontline doctor and a biomedical researcher
Kirby White is an Australian doctor based in Victoria who pioneered Gowns for Doctors, an initiative behind surgical gowns that can be washed and reused by frontline workers during the pandemic.
Dr White was inspired to create the gowns after her clinic experienced a shortage just three weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
The initiative has produced more than 5,000 gowns since a GoFundMe campaign raised more than $40,000 to develop them.
Dr White has already won a Local Hero Award in the Australian of the Year Awards.
More than 5,000 reusable gowns have been created through Kirby White's initiative. (Supplied: Salty Dingo)
Now, toymaker Mattel is recognising her and other female scientists with a line of Barbie "role model" dolls.
Dr White will have a Barbie doll that has a likeness of her, with blonde hair, scrubs and even a hospital gown similar to the one she pioneered.
The Barbie modelled on Victorian doctor Kirby White.
British woman Sarah Gilbert, a 59-year-old professor at Oxford University who co-developed the AstraZeneca vaccine, is another scientist to be honoured with a doll.
The others are emergency room nurse Amy O'Sullivan, who treated the first COVID-19 patient at the Wycoff Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, Audrey Cruz, a frontline doctor in Las Vegas who fought discrimination, Chika Stacy Oriuwa, a Canadian psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto who battled systemic racism in healthcare, and Brazilian biomedical researcher Jaqueline Goes de Jesus, who led sequencing of the genome of a COVID-19 variant in Brazil.
"It's a very strange concept having a Barbie doll created in my likeness," Professor Gilbert said in an interview for Mattel.
"I hope it will be part of making it more normal for girls to think about careers in science."
Professor Gilbert chose non-profit organisation WISE (Women in Science & Engineering), which is dedicated to inspiring girls to consider a career in STEM, to receive a financial donation from the toymaker.