Children don’t gender stereotype about jobs, says study

Girls and boys as young as 12 show no gender stereotyping about the jobs they consider doing in the future, according to new research. Plus other news.

Girls and boys as young as 12 show no gender stereotyping about the jobs they consider doing in the future, according to new research.
The research, led by Professor Paul Croll of Reading University and Professor Gaynor Attwood of the University of the West of England, found that both boys and girls are likely to see marriage and children as playing a significant role in their lives, but consider getting a good job more important. They appear very aware of the importance education plays in this.
“What is very striking,” says Professor Croll, “is that for this generation there is absolutely no gender stereotyping in hopes for the future. Furthermore, what children say at the age of 11 about school participation after the age of 16 is highly predictive of their actual behaviour.”
The research, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, concludes that to increase participation in schooling post-16, schools need to focus on giving advice and information to children as soon as they enter secondary education. Greater attention also needs to be paid to social relationships, in order to make school a more enjoyable experience for some children. But the study acknowledges that schools face a difficult balance between encouraging high expectations and providing realistic opportunities and goals.
“A major background of the research is concern for relatively low levels of participation in education post-16,” says Professor Croll, “as well as the under-representation of children from disadvantaged backgrounds at university.”
However, the study found no support for the view that children from disadvantaged backgrounds have attitudes to education or value systems that are incompatible with those of school. Indeed, virtually all children think school is important.
Furthermore, although intentions for post-16 participation are lower than might be hoped, only a small proportion of the children said that they definitely would not go to university. This suggests that the possibility of higher education is becoming a norm for this generation of young people.
The study found that a significant number of children were confused about the educational routes available to them and did not understand the link between specific educational and employment opportunities. For example, some planned to go to university but also said they intended to leave school at 16.
More significantly, the children in the study were occupationally ambitious, with 70 percent choosing professional and managerial occupations. Children whose own parents were in such occupations were more likely to be ambitious, but two-thirds of children whose parents were in manual occupations wanted professional and managerial jobs for themselves.
“Many more children wanted these kinds of jobs regardless if these jobs will be available in the future,” says Professor Croll, “and the question arises of not just who wants them but also who will get them.
Professors Croll and Attwood have fed their findings into the Government initiative on raising the participation age (RPA) and have briefed MPs on their work.

HR women face bigger gender pay gap than average

Women who work in Human Resources face a bigger gender pay gap than average, according to a salary review.
The Celre HR Salary Survey 2009-10, published on XpertHR, found there was a 15.1% gender pay gap between men and women across all roles. This compares to an average gender pay gap of 12.2% across all sectors.
Women HR directs take home 10% less money than their male counterparts.
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