The Equal Opportunities Commission in 2003 found that 75% of working women are still found in five traditional occupational groups. Girls even though they are performing at school and university as well or better than boys, are failing to choose careers in SET. There are many complex factors affecting the choice of career, but those working in careers need to recognize how stereotyping, racism and sexism can affect girls’ and women’s career choices. The Careers Service needs to incorporate a system to tackle these issues in advice and to link to support systems for girls and women who make the choice of a career in SET.
This section will include the answers to frequently asked questions and offer links to those working in careers advice and education to overcome occupational segregation in careers advice.
” A young woman might punch self-stereotyping descriptions into a computer, which might then list ‘girlie’ jobs. That may please her. But it is not good careers work if she has never taken into account her own view of her culture and its expectations. Simple matching takes no account of that right. It may even help to further entrap her.”
Bill Law (2002) How do careers really work? NICEC, The Career Learning Network, Cambridge
How do careers professionals ensure the advice and guidance that they give to girls and women does not give the message that a career in SET is not for them?
- by promoting occupational choice
- by challenging stereotyping
- by enabling informed choice
- by supporting in an empowering way
What is the role of careers education in shaping the option choices of young women?
the reality of career choice is highly complex with many and varied influences on choice
gender sensitive careers guidance can make a difference because of interventions at crucial career choice stages
careers guidance and education can offer choices that might not be seen by women without assistance
What are the key infuences to choosing a career in SET for girls and women?
- ongoing support
- promotional material
- work experience and shadow placements
- visible role models
- understanding of the barriers
- promotional perspective to guidance and information
How will a young woman interested in a SET career be supported and encouraged in her choice?
- through initiatives involved
- through aware and supportive teachers, careers advisers
How do careers professional ensure they have access to information that is acurate and up to date on SET careers and employment?
- draw on the work of those in SET who are actively promoting and supporting the widening participation of women
Women changing career or commencing a career at a later stage need support if they are to fulfil their potential. Support groups and networks exist that have built up a huge resource of expertise to be drawn on. These groups can be found in the Directory. Positive action initiatives can be found in Getting into SET.