Debbie Sterling

Debbie Sterling



San Francisco, CA USA

I was laughed at by the toy industry, and yet, I stuck with my intuition and it became wildly successful.


By Roadtrip Nation

Debbie Sterling

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Debbie Sterling HighlightInterview Highlight
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My road in life took a while to figure out.
She studied mechanical engineering and product design at Stanford University.
One day, she and a friend were having a conversation about how few women they had in their engineering classes.
Her friend had become interested in engineering because she’d played with her brothers’ building blocks and toys when she was a kid.
Debbie realized that she’d never seen any sort of toy like that being marketed to, or designed for young girls.
When she started shopping around the idea of building block toys for women, many people in the toy industry told her that there was a reason that boys played with blocks and girls didn’t.
She spent years researching childhood development to find out if this was true, and learned it was actually a myth, and that young girls are just as primed to become engineers as boys are.
She knew she’d found her calling, and developed GoldieBlox, a children’s toy and media company that inspires girls to get interested in engineering and technology.
Says that when you’re creating something you believe in, you’re going to face rejection—just like she did when she first approached the toy industry—but you can’t let the “no’s” stop you.
Keep following my journey


High School
Engineering, General
Stanford University



I am an engineer and the inventor of GoldieBlox, products that give young girls the confidence to become engineers.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

I'm always thinking of new and innovative ways to get young girls to follow their dreams. I also spend a lot of time with kids, getting their feedback on new product ideas. That's honestly where our best ideas come from.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Be comfortable asking questions when you don't understand or know how to do something. You can always learn, but you won't if you don't admit your lack of knowledge.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Follow the "yes's", but don't stop at the "no's". Just keep going!

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

Engineering, General


The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"Why would you want to do engineering? That doesn't sound fun at all, you should do something easier. "

Challenges I Overcame

Learning Issues

Interviewed By

A Balanced Equation

A Balanced Equation

Women in STEM Roadtrip