Gender and Work: Visit from WEST
We invited in Liz Kettle from WEST (Women in Engineering, Science and Technology) to share her experiences with the children.
We showed this Newsround clip about WEST http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/29443373 to get the children thinking about their future jobs.
We chose some children to dress up as fire fighters, police officers, red cross volunteers, builders, formula one drivers and doctors and asked the children to stand on a continuum line as to whether they thought the job was just for boys, girls or somewhere in the middle. The children mostly stood in the middle for all jobs, recognising that anyone can do any job.
We looked at http://www.westskills.org.uk/stories where there are real life stories of females working in trade jobs. We discussed if children had experience of female builders/plumbers etc and quite a few said they had. We talked about what job the children would like to do.
The children really enjoyed the WEST: We can booklet. http://www.westskills.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/YES-WE-CAN-free-activity-book-by-WEST-westskills-org-uk.pdf
I had thought it would be too young for them (they are Y3s), so had planned for them to design their own page for a similar booklet for Y1s. However, they enjoyed the games, activities and especially the stickers!
We carried a follow up activity from WEST in the computing suite:
Children did a quiz to find out which job they could be suitable for in the future: http://www.futuremorph.org/wp-content/uploads/games/interactive/index.html
Children then researched what they would need to do to get that job and what the job is like:
Evaluation of WEST (carried out a few weeks later)
I asked them three questions about the visit from WEST. Children stood on a continuum line to show how they felt about the question. The questions were:
- Did you enjoy the activity?
2. Are you more aware of jobs and gender stereotypes?
3. What have you learned?
‘If you have a dream, follow it.’
‘Don’t care what other people say.’
‘Go where your mind takes you.’
‘You can do any job without anyone stopping you.’
‘The only person stopping you is yourself.’
‘If you want to do something, go for it.’