Dubai: The campaign ‘Imagination Has No Gender’ was born out of the insights and data we uncovered while conducting consumer market research in the UAE, says Urszula Bieganska, head of marketing, Middle East Lego. “We met with parents and children, and quickly discovered that on more than one occasion, mothers took Lego sets out of their daughter’s hand and said, ‘Let’s ask your brother to help you build this.’ While their intentions were pure, the message this sends to young girls could indirectly suggest that they are less-skilled or less-equipped to tackle certain tasks. We began analysing the unconscious bias that exists among parents and the long-term consequences this has on a child’s future,” said Bieganska.

She offers advice to parents on making the right choices while choosing toys for their children:

Empower your children: For every parent, the joy, comfort, and wellbeing of their child is paramount. Besides all the investment we make in their futures, it is also important to nurture their self-confidence and resilience.

Self-reflect: This is the first step for parents to take in order to begin to recognise their own unconscious bias and take steps to move beyond it. We want to encourage parents to look inwards and analyse their own behaviours truthfully to ensure that children — both boys and girls — are equally-encouraged to tackle new tasks and achieve their goals regardless of their gender.

Acknowledge and call out your bias: While filming the video experiment, we discovered that some mothers were really astonished at their own bias. One of them, an architect and mother of two daughters, said, “I always thought I led by example by showing my girls they could be anything and achieve anything they set their minds to, but now I see that even I carry an unconscious bias. I now find myself looking at everyday situations and considering my reactions to them — and the impact this has on my children.’ This is the ‘aha’ moment we are after.