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  • Top 12 Thriving Female Entrepreneurs To Watch In 2021

    In a world where women are often overlooked for business opportunities, these 12 female entrepreneurs are making sure they’re heard! From revoluti...
  • Levelling up ‘Girls’ toys is the first step in closing the STEM Gender Gap (and ACE and RILEY is on it)

     Just as there are empty calorie foods and nutrient rich foods, there are empty calorie toys and nutrient rich toys, and the nutrient rich toys have not been evenly distributed across genders.

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Just in time for International Women’s Day, a Vancouver based, all women start-up, ACE and RILEY is on a mission to close the gender gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers, starting in early childhood by leveling up what we consider ‘girls’ toys.

    Women currently make up just over 50% of the workforce but only about 22% of STEM careers and less than 10% of engineering careers. The first step in addressing the STEM gender gap is looking at how we have been limiting, socializing and cognitively conditioning our young girls with stereotypical girls toys.

    A quick jaunt down the girl’s toy aisle will reveal a sea of pink, largely targeted around all the things necessary to prepare a little one for a life of domestic bliss; caring for babies, cooking in the kitchen, cleaning up afterwards, and looking good while doing it with make-up and nail-polish. Beyond the social messages of what can be inferred by this section lies a much bigger issue, these toys are doing very little to help cognitive development during the most essential neurodevelopment time. Just as there are empty calorie foods and nutrient rich foods, there are empty calorie toys and nutrient rich toys, and the nutrient rich toys have not been evenly distributed across genders.

    During the same critical neurodevelopment time period when girls are learning how to keep the perfect home, boys are interacting with toys that are not only conditioning them to imagine wildly ambitious adventures and careers, such as building a space-ship and traveling and setting up inter-planetary space stations, but they are actively engaging with a plethora of toys that develop visual spatial skills.

    Research dating back as early as the 70s has supported the notion that preschoolers who engaged in “stereotypical 'boys' play, e.g., trucks, trains, cars, scored higher on spatial ability than those who engaged in stereotypical 'girls' play, e.g., dolls and doll furniture" (Conner & Serbin, 1977) and furthermore, access to stereotypically masculine toys has been a predictor of spatial ability which in turn is predictive of academic success (Serbin, Zelkowitz, Doyle, & Gold, 1990). It’s not that boys are born with a greater aptitude for STEM, it’s that girls have been held back by the lack of cognitively enriching toys marketed towards them at the time when their brain needs them most. We’ve known this for decades and yet very little has been done to rectify the situation and level the playing field for girls.

    Enter ACE and RILEY, an all women start-up dedicated to transforming the way girls play by creating toys, activities and experiences that promote curiosity, problem-solving and exposure to foundational STEM skills while embracing and encouraging the fun of being a girl. ACE and RILEY have created innovative and unique play sets that build interest and aptitude in all STEM disciplines. The “Curie’osity Signature Science Set” named after the famous two-time Nobel Prize Scientist, Marie Curie, includes a 50-pc microscope set, a lab-coat with a customizable credential badge, safety goggles, a grow your own Magic Wand Experiment, and, wait for it… a luxurious tutu, all for only $99.

    “Adding elements of dress-up to our STEM sets allows for children to engage and explore the activity longer than if the same activity was presented without the role-play component. We know that children retain information up to 20x better when presented in the form of a story rather than facts alone, therefore the lab coat and microscope can support the “I’m a scientist” narrative and the tutu just makes it more fun” says COO and co-founder Chantelle Stewart.

    Although there has been a recent push to market toys as gender neutral, this approach doesn’t speak to every child. “There are kids that love wearing frilly princess dresses and glitzy jewellery and they shouldn’t have to choose between being feminine and being a scientist. It’s time to let girls know that these things can co-exist, you can be a ballerina scientist if you want to be” adds Dr. Amy Tanner, CEO and co-founder.

    “We often get asked, “well what about the boys? Wouldn’t they benefit from playing with dolls and kitchen sets?” and I respond, of course they would, they could learn that these things are not just “girl things” but would boys playing with kitchen sets lead to more men pursuing culinary positions? Men are already well represented as restaurant owners and chefs internationally. Would playing with dolls lead to more men becoming pediatricians? Again, men are not under-represented in the medical fields, thus, boys toys are not holding them back, hindering their development or limiting their career options in the way girls toys have for decades,” adds Dr. Tanner, who studied neurodevelopment and neuroplasticity in infants and toddlers during her PhD studies.

    Careers in STEM remain among some of the highest paying jobs as well as some of the most critical jobs responsible for dictating the future our children will grow up in. We owe it to our girls to make sure they will have an equal hand in what their future will look like, but we won’t get there without acknowledging how stereotypical girls toys are socially and cognitively limiting the ability to create their future. It’s time to re-design, re-think and revolutionize ‘girls’ toys.

    Ace & Riley is a Vancouver-based toy company tired of seeing gendered toys persist on toy shelves and is actively producing toys to disrupt this through offering little girls the same opportunities to develop their brains that have long been afforded to little boys.



  • Tutus & Microscopes: STEM toys for Girls

    Between the ages of 0-6, a child's brain is rapidly developing and incredibly impressionable. It is during this time that children are most exposed to toys and play. Given this, the toys that are marketed towards children of this age are incredibly impactful on their cognitive development.
  • STEM Toys for Girls: Tutus and Microscopes

    Ace & Riley offers a solution for many parents who are struggling to encourage little girls to play with toys that have long been stereotyped as “boys’ toys.”As the aunts of the two girls themselves, Dr. Tanner is aware of the appeal of feminine dress-up items. “My niece loves freezing and wakes up every morning wanting to dress up like Elsa,” she recalled. “I want Ace & Riley to embrace the feminine play aspect while developing the cognitive pathways needed to succeed in the STEM field.”It’s an opportunity that Ace & Riley offers to little girls. Given the disturbingly low number of women in the STEM field, it is clear that equal opportunity has not been offered in the past. The combination of gender toys and marketing tactics unfairly provides little boys with the opportunity to develop STEM skills at speeds well beyond those available to little girls, and it’s time to make changes. The Ace & Riley Science Collection Kit is equipped with all the essentials to help little girls embrace this opportunity, so busy moms and dads won’t get tired.
  • Global Banking & Finance Review + ACE and RILEY: stem for the modern day girl

    What Ace & Riley is providing to little girls is opportunity. Given the disturbingly low numbers of women occupying careers in STEM fields, it is evident that equal opportunity has not been provided in the past. A combination of gendered toys and marketing tactics are unfairly providing little boys with the opportunity to develop their STEM skills at a rate far beyond what is available to little girls, and it is due time to make a change. The Ace & Riley Science Collection kits come equipped with all the essentials to help little girls embrace this opportunity, while making it exhaustion free for busy moms and dads.
  • The Canadian Business Journal & ACE and RILEY (top stem companies for girls)

    What Ace & Riley is providing to little girls is opportunity. Given the disturbingly low numbers of women occupying careers in STEM fields, it is evident that equal opportunity has not been provided in the past. A combination of gendered toys and marketing tactics are unfairly providing little boys with the opportunity to develop their STEM skills at a rate far beyond what is available to little girls, and it is due time to make a change. The Ace & Riley Science Collection kits come equipped with all the essentials to help little girls embrace this opportunity, while making it exhaustion free for busy moms and dads.
  • Ace & Riley Blends Microscopes, Lab Coats, and Tutu’s With STEM Skills and Playtime to Give Girls the Start They Deserve

    Tutus & Microscopes 

    Ace & Riley is a Vancouver-based toy company tired of seeing gendered toys persist on toy shelves and is actively producing toys to disrupt this through offering little girls the same opportunities to develop their brains that have long been afforded to little boys.

    “When we’re looking at the big picture, women make up more than 50% of the workforce, however, they only make up 20% of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers, occupying only 9% of engineering roles,” remarked Dr. Amy Tanner, Founder and CEO of Ace & Riley, a toy company intent on disrupting this pattern.

  • Our CEO discusses the developmental and social impact of Gendered Toys: Global News Interview

    STEM and Girls 

    Introducing ACE and RILEY, stem for the modern day girl.
    Our CEO and Co-Founder, Dr. Amy Tanner, sits down with Global News BC to discuss the lack of cognitively enriching toys marketed towards girls and the impact that has on future careers in STEM fields.