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Research from the Institution for Engineering and Technology (IET) reveals that science themed toys with a focus on engineering, maths and technology are mostly targeted at boys while toys targeted at girls are mostly pink in colour. An analysis of search engines and online toy retailers found that a search for ‘girls’ toys’ led to results of which 89% were pink. A similar search for ‘boys’ toys’ led to more science and engineering related toys. According to the latest data, only 9% of women are part of the engineering work force in the UK. The IET claims that this is down to gender stereotyping which begins in early childhood and heavily influences career choices in adulthood. Mamta Singhal, a toy engineer, says she grew up playing with both girls’ and boys’ toys which included dolls as well as cars and building blocks. According to her the marketing of toys can be a good place to begin altering perceptions of gender in order to encourage girls from a young age to become interested in subjects like physics, maths and engineering. A spokesman from Let Toys be Toys, which campaigns against categorizing toys by gender, has said that many toy manufacturers had made great progress in reducing gender-based labels, and there has been an overall 70% drop in online search options based on gender since 2012.

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