Girls are Keeping It Equal for National Careers WeekBlogs
March 3 rdto 7 th 2014 is National Careers Week - a week of celebration to help schools, colleges and employers promote careers and industries to young people, helping youth to develop positive aspirations for the future.
Full Circle Education Solutions, a South Wales-based social enterprise, will be celebrating this special week by encouraging young women aged 11-25 to 'Keep It Equal' at an event to promote non-stereotypical careers and industries to girls.
Despite the fact that statistically girls out-perform boys throughout education and are more likely to go on to university, men are more likely to secure graduate level employment after their degree, and women will earn on average 14.9% less than men. One of the reasons for these widening gaps between men and women's success is the gender stereotypical roles girls and boys are subjected to. Boys are more likely to undertake training and careers in the profitable industries of engineering, IT and business, which are often seen as 'unfeminine' or unsuited to girls' skill-sets, while girls may experience barriers to exploring careers such as plumbing, construction or the Armed Forces from their peers, family, teachers or other students studying alongside them who still believe in the stereotypes of what should be a male or female role.
For many young women, a career in science or the Fire Service, for example, is not on their radar. Girls may not have had the opportunity to learn about what these roles entail, or what skills they might need to succeed in these jobs. No one may have ever suggested they try car mechanics or bricklaying because those are jobs 'for boys'.
Full Circle's Keeping It Equal event aims to turn the tables on gender stereotyping in the workplace by giving girls a hands-on opportunity to try a range of careers, industries, sports, and activities usually targeted at boys. Keeping It Equal will also mark International Women's Day, highlighting and celebrating women's achievements with presentations from inspiring women speakers. Girls will try their hands at a whole host of activities from panel beating to DJing and football, to have fun and broaden their career horizons. There will also be information stands from a range of organisations, a Big Brother Diary Room for girls to share their views, and an interactive role model race session, so girls can ask questions to a host of inspiring women from all walks of life.
If we are ever going to close the gender pay gap our efforts must start with the next generation of workers, by preventing stereotypical roles from taking root, and closed doors because of someone's gender. Young people have the potential to be whatever they choose to be - and this shouldn't be limited by their gender.
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