From Gender Roles to Career Goals
From Birth to Boss: How gender roles affect our job choices
Raising children to be gender neutral has been a hot topic lately. Can gender roles that are instilled from childhood really be that bad? Here's how they could be affecting our career goals.
We know that women are paid less for doing the same job as men, but the lesser discussed issue concerns sex segregation in different occupational roles. The unequal distribution of occupations between men and women is the real cause for a majority of the gender wage gap (Correll). It is often assumed that men and women make career decisions on a voluntary basis that fit the needs of the individual, but early assumptions about gender are directly related to our perceived ability to succeed in a field of work.
Bottle to Boardroom
The socialization process where we learn the gendered characteristics associated with sex begins at birth, where our blankets are color-coded depending on our designated sex. "Gender socialization occurs through four major agents: family, education, peer groups, and mass media" (Boundless). Through these forms, gender roles become normalized, especially with increased exposure to these and secondary agents, like work and religion. Studies show that by age 2-3 children are aware of gender roles, and by age 5-6 children have normalized gender roles as a part of culture. Through mediums like toys, clothing, parental roles, and parental careers, findings show that children learn, "being male is more associated with opportunity and freedom while being female with constraint" (Conti).
The Gender Gap
The effect of sex segregation is apparent in the lack of women seen in "masculine" job positions, such as law enforcement, military, politics, science, math, and engineering. This is seen even in high school, where men are more likely to be enrolled in upper-level math and science courses, despite the fact that men and women show little to no difference in mathematical aptitude (Correll). These male-dominated careers are often more financially rewarding than "feminine" job fields like childcare, healthcare, social work, and education. It is important to note that discrimination, sexism, and other outside forces affect the sex segregation that persists in our workforce, but the autonomy of our decision-making becomes less clear when breaking down the normalization of gender-roles that have persisted since birth. Although we cannot always control the agents of socialization that influence our perception of gender, we can question the normalization of gender roles for us and generations to follow.
Simple tips like those in this article are a great way to teach ourselves how to avoid gender stereotyping:
Does your company need to deal with gender bias? Contact 3Plus now!
Originally posted by Caroline Kersten in Pulse LinkedIn
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Dates for the Diary
March 26th Jump Forum Brussels
Making digital more human and gender balanced: challenges and opportunities in a workplace transformed by tech and artificial intelligence
- Keynote : Allison Gardner (Founder Women Leading in AI, Teaching Fellow in Bioinformatics / Maths / Computing at Keele University)
- Round table: Alexandra Van Hille (Chief of Staff Technology Belgium at Deloitte, Women in Tech leader, Ambassador She Loves to Code), Cassiano Mecchi (EMEA Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Spotify), Ségolène Martin (CEO Kantify, Ambassador Women in AI Belgium), Allison Gardner (Founder Women Leading in AI, Teaching Fellow in Bioinformatics / Maths / Computing at Keele University)
- Moderated by: Dorothy Dalton (Global Talent Management Strategist, inclusive workplace specialist)
March 28th Make the Most of Mentoring
Inhouse webinar for Ingersoll Rand Mentees on how to maximise the process to boost their careers.
March 29th Make the Most of Mentoring – Men mentoring women post #MeToo.
In-house live and virtual training session for Ingersoll Rand. In environments where most of the senior role models are men it’s important that there is a deeper understanding and adherence to best practices to advance the careers of women. This has become more sensitive post #MeToo where some men have concerns about professional relationships with junior women.
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