1971 saw the first six Mr Men books published by much loved author Roger Hargreaves. But it took ten years for the first Little Miss book to be released (1981). Skip forward another 37 years and 2018 will see the release of ‘Little Miss Inventor’, a female engineer who will be a “positive role model” for girls (according to illustrator Adam Hargreaves).
We asked our female colleagues on their view of the new Little Miss addition;
Julie Verrill, Junior Technician, Newcastle
I think it’s a very inventive idea! On a serious note, it’s all about exposure to different things when you are young (no matter what gender) and this book will further promote diversity and that exposure to younger audiences and beyond!
Suzanne King, Senior Engineer, Birmingham
As an engineer and a mum of two, I feel that it is about time that gender barriers are broken. Overall it is good to recognise that girls can achieve any career they choose. However, is there a Mr Hairdresser and a Little Miss Hairdresser or Mr Nurse and Little Miss Nurse, along with a Mr Inventor? My 4 year old twins who are boy and girl, are already under the influence of commercial gender branding (pink for girls and blue is for boys), but there is no right or wrong. There should be no barriers to what children want to be regardless of sex and the commercial idea of roles that are suited to gender. Equality should be encouraged across both sexes.
Natalie Groves, Marketing Assistant, Newcastle
I love the idea that the iconic children’s books have created a Little Miss Inventor in a bid to tackle gender stereotypes in the workplace and beyond, in a bid to increase women in engineering, who we all know are widely under represented.
Looking back, she joins a pack of Little Miss’s who now I’m not sure represent the female society today. Little Miss Bossy, Little Miss Stubborn and not forgetting Little Miss Princess. I am certainly not suggesting that we rename them (like Little Miss Plump who was renamed as Little Miss Greedy due to political correctness) but it is absolutely a step in the right direction.
Ola Young, Graduate Engineer, Manchester
One of my most memorable birthday gifts was receiving the little book ‘Mr. Lazy’s Guide to Fitness’ and I still love reading through it as I feel it is so relatable to life. I always hoped that they might release a character who created crazy or unique inventions, so think it is a great idea!
Image reference; Mr Men Wiki