Careers advice for girls is weak – says Ofsted

An Ofsted study has found that young women are turning to ‘gender-stereotypical’ careers such as childcare, social work, hairdressing and beauty therapy as a result of weak careers advice in schools.

The Girls’ Career Aspirations study, conducted across 16 primary schools, 25 secondary schools and 13 colleges, found that most schools were not doing enough to promote the confidence, drive and ambition of girls to encourage them to challenge vocational stereotypes within the workplace.

Inspectors found that girls aged 11 to 14 had limited understanding of how choices about courses and careers influence pay and progression. “From an early age, the girls surveyed had held conventionally stereotypical views about jobs for men and women,” the report said. “They retained those views throughout their schooling despite being taught about equality of opportunity and knowing their rights to access any kind of future career.”

School records revealed that only 164 out of 1,725 pupils embarked on non-stereotypical work placements and of 200 female college students, only seven were considering engineering jobs and 17 wanted a science-related career.

Ofsted chief inspector Christine Gilbert said “Schools need to develop more opportunities for young women to meet professionals working in non-stereotypical roles, and to learn more about what the job entails through diverse work placements.”

Read news items in Guardian and CYPN

Nicki, Business Director, dbda

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About dbda
dbda is a corporate social responsibility consultancy embracing education and safety in the community. We are privileged to work with a large number of blue chip corporate clients, Government organisations, charitable bodies, Institutes and local authorities. We also have a network of schools, professional bodies, associations, universities and partners, with whom we regularly work in collaboration.

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