Diverse representation is critical and important to societal growth and change3, more so than ever before. And it's about time, too: As we make our way through the 21st century, the more inclusivity we can foster, the better. Unfortunately, not ever industry is as diverse as we'd like it to be. Tech and web development, for example, is dominated by white men — despite the fact that white women and women of color are making waves, each and every day. But the lack of representation probably explains why Mattel, creators of Barbie, made a web developer Barbie and kept her white — but for one black web developer, that just simply wasn't going to work.
The story goes like this: A black couple, both web developers, were tickled to find that Mattel had released a web developer Barbie — the only problem being that there wasn't a black version. The wife was disappointed — until her husband came up with an amazing plan. Meet the inspiring and creative couple behind the story below, and find out how they took the matter of diversity and representation into their own hands.
This is Marcus Montgomery and his wife, Lisette Titre-Montgomery. They are both game designers. In fact, in addition to her job, Titre-Montgomery is also an advocate for black women in tech — she makes it her business to increase awareness about diversity in the industry.
So imagine Titre-Montgomery's joy when she learned there would be a web developer Barbie. Her husband wanted to buy it for her, but was disappointed to learn that the doll only came in one version: A white Barbie with red hair.
Titre-Montgomery expressed her happiness that the doll even existed in the first place, despite the fact that it didn't exactly represent her or her fellow black tech women.
But that's when Montgomery had an amazing idea: He bought web developer Barbie, as well as a black Barbie, changed her clothes, and repackaged it for his wife.
He posted photos of his efforts on social media, which have since gone viral. "My ultimate goal was to make my wife smile,” he said. “That’s really what I wanted. It was a birthday present and I just wanted to make sure she was happy.”
His beloved wife couldn't have been more pleased with his efforts. "“If you see someone who looks like you doing something you want to do, it feels more possible,” she said.