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Removing Clichés from Study and Career Choices

What are the benefits of removing gender stereotypes from career and study choices? Gender stereotypes and cliches take hold in children from a very early age, and these stereotypes go on to influence the decisions people make later in life about what they want to study and where they want to work. By now it’s a well-known fact that men are more likely to choose careers relating to, for example, technical skills and women are more likely to choose jobs in the care sector. However, studies have shown that skills are not inherently tied to gender. Rather, differences emerge due to socialisation and practice – so if one child is encouraged to play with Legos, they will naturally develop certain skills better than another who spends their time on different activities. The Cliché Free Initiative argues that these patterns are harmful not only to individuals but also to the economy and wider society.

To emphasise the importance of the topic, the initiative has put together a dossier on the question “What are the benefits of cliche-free career and study choices?”. The collection of materials includes a comprehensive background article on the benefits for businesses and the economy, for society as a whole, and for the individual, as well as interviews with leaders from the equal opportunities branch.

The dossier can be viewed here.

Photo: Ryan Quintal
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