Gender and Work
I am looking at children’s opinions around gender and work. We have collated and analysed data from children’s parents and from the Government.
Session 1: Baseline
Questionnaires were sent home to find out what jobs their friends and families have and who does the housework. The results were shared with the class and children had to create a bar chart showing who did the most housework.
Results: many stereotypical jobs and more women than men did the housework.
Children were also shown a list of jobs and asked to choose male, female or both for who they think of when they think of that job.
Jobs: doctor, nurse, teacher, scientist, builder, engineer, electrician, secretary, politician, shop assistant.
Results: most children chose both for most jobs.
Obvious exceptions were electrician and builder = more male and nurse = more female.
Session 2: Intervention: Women at Work
Using graphs and data from the House of Commons Document (April 2014) Women in Public life, the Professions and the Boardroom children had to read and analyse the information, answering questions about it. We discussed which jobs had more females and which had less. The professions we looked at were primary and secondary education, NHS, police and armed forces. We generally found that the number of women is increasing in these professions. The graphs also showed that there are more women than men in primary education and some NHS jobs (nurses, midwives, health visitors, scientific, therapeutic and technical). Some of these results were a surprise to the children, although when they thought of their own primary school, they recognised that there are more women than men.
We also looked at Women in the labour market: A report by the Office for National Statistics, September 2013.
Some key points are:
- Rising employment for women.
- More men over 22 years old are employed than women.
- Men tend to work in jobs which pay more than women.
- More women are employed within caring and leisure jobs.
Session 3: Questionnaire
Following the graph analysis, I asked the children to fill in this questionnaire:
- If you could choose up to 3 jobs to do when you’re older, what would they be?
- What do you think you need to do to get that job?
- Is there anything that might stop you from doing your dream job?
- Do you think there are more females or males that do your dream job?
- Would you be happiest working with people mostly of the same gender, different gender or a mix?
Results: Children mainly wished to do gender stereotypical jobs (especially boys), but felt that they would be happiest working with both boys and girls. Girls thought of more barriers to jobs than boys.