As teachers and career advisers you are aware of the crucial role you play in supporting young people’s careers and subject choices. With Curriculum for Excellence’s core aim of preparing all young people for employment, and Scottish Government’s Developing the Young Workforce strategy advocating for the delivery of careers advice earlier and more frequently in children and young people’s learner journeys, the focus is on preparing young people for the world of work more than ever before.
A key strand of DYW focuses on equalities, with its recommendations asking schools to embed equality education across Curriculum for Excellence; to ensure communication of career options promote diverse participation; and, to come up with specific measures to counter gender stereotyping in subject choice. Be What You Want can help you to deliver on these recommendations.
Teachers have an important role in challenging gender stereotyping, and talking to pupils about the ways it impacts on their lives. Who looked after them when they were little? Who does the majority of the housework in their home? What jobs do their female and male relatives do? What are their impressions of an engineer? A childcare worker? A CEO? Why do they think some really important jobs – like nursing – aren’t paid as much as others? What does this say about women and men’s roles, and how do they feel about this? These are all simple questions which can help to spark a discussion about gender stereotyping, and how it limits our thinking about what we are able to be in life. Our Resources can help you incorporate these concepts into classroom sessions which can support young people to think outside of and to challenge stereotypes, and understand more about the world of work.
Careers advisers support children and young people to be what they want to be: it’s important that this is informed by an understanding of what influences children and young people’s ideas about their preferences and capabilities, and encourages them to consider a diverse range of subject, training and career options. This is part of the foundation of the DYW Career Education Standard and Work Placement Standard, and our Resources can be used to support learning about the world of work which helps young people to consider the widest possible range of options when thinking about their future.
In this section you will find information on the links between gender stereotyping, subject choice and occupational segregation, and also on Be What You Want and the policy context behind the campaign aims.