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Debbie Sterling        

Tech Engineer; Founder & CEO of GoldieBlox

Debbie Sterling is the Founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, the award-winning children’s multimedia company disrupting the pink aisle in toy stores globally and challenging gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character. Her mission is to tackle the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math. GoldieBlox is a book series and construction set that engages children to build through the story of Goldie, a girl inventor who solves problems by building simple machines. Sterling writes and illustrates Goldie's stories, taking inspiration from her grandmother, one of the first female cartoonists and creator of "Mr. Magoo."

Sterling is an engineer, entrepreneur, and one of the leaders in the movement toward empowering girls to build their confidence, dreams and ultimately, their futures. She was named TIME’s "Person of the Moment,” honored by the National Retail Foundation as one of 25 “People Shaping Retail’s Future,” and was recently added to Fortune Magazine’s prestigious “40 Under 40” list. In 2015, Sterling was inducted as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship and honored by the National Women’s History Museum with a “Living Legacy” Award for her work to empower girls around the world. Sterling received her degree in Engineering at Stanford University in 2005.

Her company, launched in 2012, raised over $285,000 in 30 days through Kickstarter, and has been featured in numerous publications such as The Atlantic and Forbes. Prior to founding GoldieBlox, Sterling served as the marketing director of Lori Bonn, a national jewelry company. For the past seven years, she has also served as a brand strategy consultant for a wide variety of organizations including Microsoft, T-Mobile, Organic Valley and the New York Knicks. Sterling's inspiration to create a mission-driven company came in 2008, when she spent 6 months volunteering at a grassroots nonprofit in rural India. She created a viral video-fundraising campaign called "I Want a Goat," raising over $30,000 for economic and educational development in the region. This experience helped pave the way to finding her true passion: inspiring the next generation of female engineers.

Sterling completed her degree in engineering at Stanford (Product Design, '05) and currently lives with her husband in San Francisco.

Speech Topics

Think Audacious

When Debbie Sterling heard from Steve Jobs at her Stanford graduation that she should “never settle” until she found her true passion, she took this to heart. After graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering & Product Design, she had firsthand knowledge of how significantly men outnumber women in science, technology, engineering and math. Debbie became determined to “disrupt the pink aisle” with a toy that would introduce young girls to the joy of engineering. Less than three years after launching GoldieBlox on Kickstarter, she has launched a Superbowl ad, an award-winning iOS app, and GoldieBlox toys in more than 6,000 retail stores worldwide. Debbie has also recently been selected to join the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship, a select group "committed to helping develop the next generation of entrepreneurs around the world." Hear Debbie’s story of challenging the status quo, achieving audacious goals, and igniting a national conversation about breaking gender stereotypes.

Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Engineers

Close your eyes and picture an engineer. You probably weren't envisioning Debbie Sterling. Debbie Sterling is an engineer and founder of GoldieBlox, a toy company out to inspire the next generation of female engineers. She has made it her mission in life to tackle the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math.


The brains behind the viral Goldieblox video

Debbie Sterling, CEO of Goldieblox (photo courtesy of Goldieblox). The woman behind a video that recently exploded online–the one showing three girls ...

Women in Business: Q&A with Debbie Sterling, Founder of GoldieBlox

Debbie Sterling is an engineer and founder of GoldieBlox, a toy company out to inspire the next generation of female engineers. She has made it her mission in ...

Debbie Sterling Gives Girl Toys a New Tune | Person of the Moment ...

As the CEO of toy company GoldieBlox, Stanford-educated engineer Debbie Sterling wants to disrupt the “pink aisle” with an alternative to princess attire, tea ...

GoldieBlox helps get girls into engineering - SFGate

Debbie Sterling was both embarrassed ("what a weird thing to suggest") and flattered ("oh, she thinks I'm smart") when her high school math teacher in Rhode  ...

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