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Why it’s always computers for boys, fashion for girls | The independent

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Gender stereotypes are still prevalent when it comes to the career aspirations of boys and girls, research shows. Millions of pounds may have been invested in initiatives to persuade more girls to choose science and engineering, and to persuade boys to read more or start dancing, but a report today says ‘hui, when it comes to the crisis, both boys and girls opt for traditional career paths.

The survey of 500 students aged 14 to 16 studying for their GCSE reveals that, when asked about their career aspirations, girls cited health care (22%), education (11%) and fashion (10%) as their three favorite options. For boys, a career in IT led (16%), followed by engineering (12%) and healthcare (10%).

Again, when asked about their ultimate goal, 26% of boys and 20% of girls said they expected to be the boss of their own business. Perhaps, however, on this point, their parents were more realistic about their goals, with just 12% believing their offspring would become bosses.

The survey coincides with the day 650,000 adolescents received their GCSE results. Louise Robinson, president of the Girls’ School Association and director of the Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School in Crosby, Merseyside, said she was not surprised by the results.

“Sadly, co-ed schools do not do enough to uplift girls’ career aspirations and do not do enough to encourage them to think in terms of finding non-stereotypical jobs,” she said.

His thoughts are echoed by Ofsted, the education standards watchdog. In a report on the career aspirations of girls, the watchdog said: “Almost all of the girls and young women who took part in the survey were open to the possibility of pursuing careers that challenged gender stereotypes, if the career interested them sufficiently. Their awareness of this potential, however, has not always translated into practice. “

Eleven of the 12 mixed schools visited “were not doing enough to promote the confidence, drive and ambition of girls and young women to take risks by challenging professional stereotypes,” he added. “While the 13 girls-only schools reported that confidence and competitive attitudes were easier to promote in the absence of boys, the fact remained that the proportion of female admissions to individual GCSEs and Level A subjects in these schools largely matched the national profile of female exam enrollment.

Ms Robinson added: “Girls, too, cannot forget the images they see of themselves on television.”

Girls’ relative lack of ambition, revealed in Opinion Research’s survey for JP Morgan Asset Management, comes at a time when they are outperforming boys at nearly every level of the review system – except, for the first time. last week to Note A * in level A exams.

As a result, the emphasis was placed on the poorer boys’ performance, with the emphasis on promoting “boy-friendly” books, that is, non-fiction or children’s stories. adventure, to persuade them to read more for fun. Experts predict that any improvement in the GCSE pass rate this year will likely be due to initiatives like this one. It appears that both sexes, however, are still eager to go to college, despite fees of up to £ 9,000 a year from September: 78% thought they would attend college, although most seemed to underestimate the cost of doing so. They predicted it would cost them between £ 10,000 and £ 15,000 a year, as figures show the average fee and cost of living is £ 17,352.

They were also optimistic about their future earnings, with most expecting a starting salary of £ 22,600 and the idea that they would own their own home by the age of 25. Currently, the average age of the first buyer is 30. .

Case studies…

“Banking is male dominated – I’m just going to have to be confident”

Elena Attfield, 16, Burton Latimer, Northants Year 11, predicted A * s, As and Bs

Bishop Stopford School

I would like to go to college, get a degree in economics, and my dream career would be in banking and finance. It sounds like an exciting job. It’s a very male dominated industry and it seems like most of the people who get into it have a private education which is a drag, but I think I’m going to have to be confident and move on.

“Some girls who do well in science don’t seem willing to continue”

Frederik Colpman, 15, Goodworth Clatford, Hampshire Year 10, As, Bs and Cs predicted

Valley of Tests School

I would like to end up doing something in history – maybe be a university professor. There is no gender divide at school when it comes to which areas girls and boys are good at, but some girls who do well in science seem reluctant to continue, even if they are very good. in this domain.

“I decided I wanted to do something where I could give back to society”

Hannah Knowles, 16, Dudley, West Midlands Year 11, predicted A * s, As and Bs

Crestwood School

I will register for a health and social BTEC. I took a test that asks you questions and then suggests which career would suit you. My answers suggested social work, so I decided I wanted to do something where I could give back to society.


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