Our 2019 Year 12 students are closing in on the final stages of their schooling and the decisions they have made to date around subjects and future study will be helping them form their career pathways. Year 10 students are beginning to plan their senior school pathways with SET plans and subject selections for Years 11 and 12.
A recent publication from the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia explored the factors that influenced girls’ choices of careers. Those factors included: the effects of single-sex and co-ed schools; the influence of parents and teachers; aptitude for subjects and gender equality and stereotypes. In a survey of women aged 18 and over, the most frequently mentioned influences on their initial career of choice were: being good at one or more STEM subjects; their parents, and good employment prospects. Teachers were only the fourth most frequently mentioned influence.
The research suggests there needs to be a multi-pronged approach to minimising the effect of gender socialisation and the resulting gender stereotyping on career choices. These include; parental involvement in talking to their children about stereotypes, considering a range of career domains and sharing experience from their own education is critical and shifting the focus from secondary to primary school in terms of undoing stereotypes of what ‘boys are good at’ versus what ‘girls are good at’.
While teachers may not be the top influence on students’ choice of careers more widely, at Lourdes Hill College we try to provide a range of opportunities for our students, such as the LHC Robotics and Technology Club. In addition, a vibrant Careers program provides students with exposure to good role models and a range of career options. A recent innovation at LHC is the Careers Symposium. Read more about the Careers program here.
Read the full Alliance article here.
Reference: Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia (2019). ‘Gender stereotypes about girls’ careers formed prior to high school’. eBrief: Research summary for principals. Issue 7/2019. May 1, 2019.