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April 26, 2022

Career Diversity Check: Job stereotypes - Are LEGO City sets stuck in the past?

Career Diversity Check: Job stereotypes - Are LEGO City sets stuck in the past?
  • The recru!Tech Taledo (www.taledo.com) analyzes the occupations of all figures ever produced in the Lego City sets by gender
  • Six times more male figures with occupations than females 
  • Only four occupations first appeared in female form
  • Nearly one-third of occupations are represented exclusively by male figures

LEGO figures have been a must in every child's room for decades. Whether young or old the fascination with small blocks and their possibilities in assembling are endless as our imagination. With more and more Variety in their productions, Lego products are also to inspire young girls with their figures and buildings. 

This begs the question: what about the various professions within the many Lego sets, especially the popular Lego City product line. Sets from this series tend to be based on the everyday life of an albeit somewhat dramatized big city. Unlike the various sets of Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel and many more. Last year, Taledo's recruiting experts analyzed and evaluated the different job categories within these sets - you can read the blog article in detail here.

LEGO City professions timeline

This year, the focus is on the Lego City profession timeline. Since the beginning of the Lego City series, a total of 68 different professions have been provided to live out fantasies. In the chart below, all occupations are sorted by release year. Professions with female characters are above and professions with male characters are below the years in the graphic.

Stereotype or cliche - it doesn't matter. A childs imagination should never be limited - especially while playing with someting as limitless as LEGO.

Professions with female figures are above and the professions with male figures are below the years in the graphic. Interestingly, in Lego City the female doctor has been around longer (since 1978) and the male doctor (only since 1981). In the history of Lego-City, only four jobs were first introduced in female form - doctor, salesperson in 1978 (male figure followed in 1979), journalist in 2014 (m. f. followed in 2019), and barista in 2015 (m. f. also followed in 2019).

Still a male dominated LEGO-City

22 professions are represented only in the form of male figures - no female form of these professions exists in the Lego City world yet. Among them: mayor, teacher, captain, gardener, Lego employee and more. On the other hand, only female figures hold the job description VIP, singer and chauffeur. In total, only nine jobs were presented simultaneously for female and male characters in the Lego City sets - tank attendant, showman, finance, extreme athlete, farmer, miner, martial artist, animal welfare, and veterinarian. 

Compared to the 2021 analysis, the number of different occupations with female characters has increased minimally. In 2021 there were 44, now there are 46. In general, hardly anything has changed after the 2021 analysis: a few new sets including professional figures were added, it takes more time for a big change.

The investigation was performed on Re-Brickable. The investigation contains all sets (until spring 2022) of the genre marked there under City/Town. Years were gone through individually. If a year contained a greatly increased occurrence of the same promotional set with identical content, only a relevant portion was included, not all. Corresponding set numbers of the omitted sets were noted. A figure was assigned occupation and gender by representation and figure type. Representation on packaging, instructions, and individual illustration were observed. This type of study contains subjective elements.
Headerpicture: Photo by
Vlad Hilitanu on Unsplash

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