Girls believe construction careers are for boys, survey finds

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18th May 2015 15:36 - Construction

A recent survey by Network Rail has found that 39 per cent of schoolgirls believe that some careers are for boys and not girls. Girls believe construction careers are for boys, survey finds

Of the girls who believed that some jobs were not for females, 58 per cent said that construction was a male job and 39 per cent said the same of engineering.

Also, 29 per cent cited financial roles as another male role.

Loraine Martins, Director of Diversity at Network Rail said that the findings support the idea that young girls are sensitive to stereotypes, even those as young as 12. She also said that young girls rule themselves out of some positions.

Martins added: “We must put as much energy into tackling bias while girls are still in education, as we do into overcoming gender bias issues in the workplace.”

The findings also showed that 65 per cent, of the girls questioned, had an idea of what career they’d like to pursue in the future, with 56 per cent believeing that having a clear idea of what they would like to do would eventually help them make the decision as to what job they’d like to do.

Network rail have signed up to the campaign, Women in Science (WISE) ‘Ten Step Plan’, which aims to increase the number of opportunities for females in male-dominated industries.

The campaign also works with tech colleges to entice more women into considering engineering roles.

Martins further added: “We know that our industry is perceived as being pretty macho and that men have a better chance of succeeding than women. If this is the general consensus among adults, then it’s hardly surprising that these attitudes appear to have rubbed off on younger generations.

"We cannot afford to be complacent and must keep challenging ourselves; setting ambitious targets to increase the proportion of women in our workforce and working with more education institutions to tackle the problem sooner and with the urgency it deserves.”

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