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Debbie Sterling | PDA Speakers

Debra Sterling

Founder and CEO of GoldieBlox

Debra “Debbie” Sterling is a driving force in the STEM industry, a powerful voice for women, and a leader for the next generation of female engineers. Funny, charismatic, compelling, but above all, Sterling is a trailblazer. Excluded from the engineering world’s boys club, Sterling gives insight into her experiences as an outcast.

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Debra “Debbie” Sterling is a driving force in the STEM industry, a powerful voice for women, and a leader for the next generation of female engineers. Funny, charismatic, compelling, but above all, Sterling is a trailblazer. Excluded from the engineering world’s boys club, Sterling gives insight into her experiences as an outcast.

Enrolled at Stanford University, Sterling was concerned with the absence of women in her program. Sterling learned that female engineers totaled only 14% of the industry. She realized that girls don’t want to be engineers because they aren’t exposed to the thought or idea. After graduating, Sterling knew that needed to change.

Sterling disrupted the toy industry by creating GoldieBlox, a multimedia toy company designed to foster creative exploration, ignite creativity, and develop spatial skills in young girls. She believes that creativity is crucial for impressionable female youth, and GoldieBlox exposes them to their fullest potential.

Sterling was told several times that girls were meant to stay in the “pink aisle” of the toy store–enforcing the notion that they’re meant to play with dolls and princesses while boys are given building blocks and trains. Defying claims that girls tend to demonstrate less interest in science, math, and engineering, Sterling’s speeches challenge audiences to look beyond stereotypes to see the potential of what women and girls can achieve.

Using her passion, rejection, and drive, Sterling has created a world where girls can have more than a princess phase– they can be “makers.”

Debbie Sterling is the Founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, the award-winning children’s multimedia company known for disrupting the pink aisle in toy stores globally and challenging gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character. GoldieBlox’s Kickstarter campaign led to $1 million in sales, was sold in Toys “R” Us, and was a best-seller on Amazon. The app now has over 1 million downloads and over 1 million toys sold across more than 6,000 major worldwide retailers. GoldieBlox was named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company in 2014 and was awarded the 2014 Educational Toy of the Year by The Toy Industry Association.

Debbie is an engineer, entrepreneur, spokesperson, and one of the leaders in the movement toward getting girls interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). She was named TIME’s “Person of the Moment,” InStyle’s 50 Most Badass Women, LinkedIn’s “Top Voice, “Fortune’s “40 Under 40,” and she was honored by the National Retail Federation as one of 25 “People Shaping Retail’s Future.” In 2015, Debbie was inducted as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship under the Obama administration and honored by the National Women’s History Museum with a “Living Legacy” Award for her work to empower girls around the world. Debbie received her degree in Engineering at Stanford University in 2005.

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    Disrupting the Pink Aisle

    Think Audacious

    Don’t Underestimate Girls

    When “No” Leads to Innovation

    Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

    Accepting Constructive Criticism

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    Inspiring the next generation of female engineers | Debbie Sterling | TEDxPSU

    Debbie Sterling, Founder and CEO of GoldieBlox | Dynamic Dialouges

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