It’s a Woman’s World, TooBlogs
A women's place is in the home. Girls can't be bricklayers or plumbers. Men make the best managers...right?
These days women can have any career they want, in any industry, but to look at the UK's workforce you wouldn't think it. Women make up just 13% of workers in the construction industry, and only 5% of the directors of top companies in the UK are women, and the UK has the lowest proportion of female engineering professionals within EU countries.
In the UK we're lucky that government policies and law have helped women to achieve equality and to step onto the career ladder in any industry they choose, but as the numbers show, women still aren't choosing or progressing in those typically 'male' roles.
Full Circle is a social enterprise based in South Wales. We work to empower girls and young women, addressing some of the issues that hold girls back or stop them from fulfilling their potential. Time and time again we've seen girls pushed by well-meaning teachers into hairdressing, beauty or childcare courses, which sadly are often more likely to lead to low-paying jobs in the future. We've heard some girls tell us that they plan on having a baby when they leave school because they don't know what else to do, while others are too afraid to choose jobs or training in non-traditional roles because of what their friends, families or partners might say.
We ran an event last March for National Careers Week and International Women's Day to highlight these issues. The Keeping It Equal event was only for girls aged 11-16 and brought together a wide variety of organisations to give girls a taste of a range of careers, sports and industries that are usually just for the boys. Girls tried rugby, football and golf, tiling and panel beating, science and DJing, and got to meet some inspirational women role models. The amazing Non Evans MBE, international rugby player, Olympic Games competitor, professional wrestler and weight lifter talked about some of the barriers she's faced in the sporting world, just because she's a woman. Non encouraged girls to set goals and to reach for their dreams. She said her success in sport didn't happen because of luck, but because of determination and hard work.
The event was a big success. It was amazing to watch girls tile a wall, build a bridge and hit a golf ball - things they may never have tried before. One girl told us she now wanted to be a police officer when she was older. Another said she was going to do hairdressing, but the event had changed her mind. She wanted to try something different.
If you're a girl or you work with girls why not explore what other options are available? Local colleges are keen to increase the numbers of women in construction, science, engineering and other typically-male focused courses, or why not consider becoming an entrepreneur and increasing the number of women business owners? Live Unltd offer free support and grants to help young people aged 11-25 to set up socially-minded businesses and projects, so you can make money and make a difference.
A woman's place is in the home. And on the sports field. And on the building site. And in the board room....or wherever else she chooses for it to be. So give something new a try - you might just surprise yourself.
Nikki Giant is the founder and director of the social enterprise Full Circle . Full Circle provides training, youth projects, events and resources to inspire, motivate and empower young women.
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