028: Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes with Jodi Bondi Norgaard

Jodi Bondi Norgaard joins the show this week to share the story behind an ‘aha’ moment in a toy store with her daughter that led her to a lifetime mission of shaking things up and breaking gender stereotypes in the toy industry and beyond. Jodi is the founder of Dream Big Toy Company and created the award-winning Go! Go! Sports Girls line of dolls, books, and apps to show both girls and boys that it’s okay to be who we are and not apologize for our own uniqueness. Jodi talks about how her empowering girls and fighting traditional gender stereotypes ended up being her biggest challenge in business, and the many ways she harassed her inner badass to overcome these obstacles.   What You Will Hear in This Episode: ● While in a toy store with her daughter, Jodi noticed that the products being marketed to young girls promoted appearance and sexiness rather than embracing intelligence, uniqueness, and athleticism. ● Even though Jodi knew nothing about design or the toy industry, she was a true badass and taught herself the business. Two years later, she took a rough draft and had her first product. ● The Go! Go! Sports Girls line encourages girls to be healthy rather than focus on fashion, being a princess, and their body image. ● Jodi shares how she got through the challenges of others doubting her and telling her the industry wasn’t fully ready for a toy such as the Go! Go! Sports Girls line. ● Jodi knew creating the dolls wouldn’t change the world completely, but it was an important ingredient to show little girls (and boys) that they don’t have to just sit back and be quiet. ● Jodi is very active in speaking all over the world to encourage corporations and organizations to challenge gender stereotypes and dream big. ● Jodi had the honor of being invited to the White House in 2016 along with a select group of other women moving and shaking things up in the toy industry. ● Jodi shares what it was like for her to get her product in 150 Wal Mart stores. ● Launching a true girl empowerment product had never been done, and there was nothing to go off of. ● Why the toy industry needs to not only create diversity in the products but the hiring of the people that make and market those products. Especially since most often, it’s the women that are doing the purchasing and decision making!   Quotes: ● “Sexy products are not marketed to boys. It’s always to girls.” ● “I knew I wasn’t going to change the world, but I thought maybe I could change an industry.” ● “There needs to be more diversity if we are going to create a more diverse product.” ● “Every wrinkle on my face is my story. It’s my story, and I’m not going to change it.”   Mentioned: Gracie, Tennis Girl Jodi Bondi Norgaard Go! Go! Sports Girls More Than a Doll Forbes Women Wonder Crew GoldieBlox IAmElemental The Kaleidoscope Group The Toy Association Jane Fonda

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