Lego figures take step toward gender equality with female scient - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Lego figures take step toward gender equality with female scientists set

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A 7-year-old girl was among those who noticed that most professions are represented by male Legos and marketed to boys. (Source: CNN) A 7-year-old girl was among those who noticed that most professions are represented by male Legos and marketed to boys. (Source: CNN)

LONDON (CNN) - It's taken longer than some would have liked, but Lego launched its first all-female scientist set.

Lego's new set, called Research Institute, features a scientist, an astronomer, even a paleontologist - all female.

Most professions - a construction worker, the city businessman, a pilot - are represented by male Legos. Those who wanted a professional female Lego in the past had to build it themselves.

The set was released after 7-year-old Charlotte Benjamin, among others, noticed a gender discrepancy, and her letter of complaint to Lego caused an internet sensation.

She wrote, "All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop and had no jobs." The boy figures, she noted, "went on adventures, worked, saved people and had jobs, even swam with sharks."

Lego says it was already developing the new female Legos at the time of the girl's letter.

Scientist Ellen Kooijman, who first submitted the idea for an all-female Lego set to the company's website in 2012, said she also felt there was "a rather stereotypical representation of the available female figures."

Professional female Legos are taking their rightful place among the men, and leaders say they're creating new role models.

"I think it sends that message that actually the world's your oyster, that girls as well as boys, what ever interested in, what ever they want to do, is something they should aspire to rather than suggesting certain jobs or careers are for boys or other jobs and careers are for girls," British Minister for Women and Equality Jo Swinson said.

Demand for the new Lego set has been so high that it's on back order, according to the Lego website.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved. 

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