The student news site of McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia

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Gender roles affect career choices

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by Caitlin Whisby, Staff Writer

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Society tends to have a set idea of what career people will choose based solely on their gender. Some students may have difficulty making career choices due to these assumptions.

Gender roles are stereotypes that are aimed towards dictating the behaviors and actions of a person due to their sex. For example males are expected to be aggressive, dominant, and headstrong. Women are expected to be passive, submissive, caring, and nurturing.

“Gender roles are a big influence in everything you do in life because of the subtle and definite messages we receive from society and media. ‘Girls cannot be chemistry majors’ or ‘boys cannot be nurses’. These type of messages can truly change how students view themselves.’’ school counselor Ayesha Fawzi said.

These expectations of people can definitely affect what career students may chose. Women may choose careers such as preschool and elementary teachers, secretaries and administrative assistants, and cosmetologists. Men may choose careers such as carpenters, truck drivers, and car mechanics.

The automotive class at McEachern is a course taught by teacher Dave Shuler that teaches students about vehicles.

‘’I chose to take automotive class because I wanted to learn things like how to change my own tire and my dad owns a mechanic shop so it’s always interested me.” junior Kimmya Heard said.

Only about six girls make up the seventy students of the automotive class that teacher Dave Shuler teaches.

“I don’t think I have as much girls in this class because girls tend to not want to get their hands dirty.” Shuler said.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics 11 percent of automotive and watercraft service jobs are occupied by women. Women are often subject to masculine stereotypes that make it even more difficult for them to get hired. This fact may make women more reluctant to pursue a career in auto mechanics.

Likewise men may be reluctant to pursue female dominated careers, such as cosmetology.

‘’At this age students come to a decision based on what they see, who dominates what and why. On the other hand, students are braving toward what they desire.’’ cosmetology teacher Shavon Cherry said.

While cosmetology may seem like a female dominated industry, men are slowly starting to take more jobs in the field.

‘’I don’t think it’s necessary to listen to gender roles when it comes to selecting a career,’’ sophomore Adebanke Bamidele said, ‘’If you like to do a certain thing, then go for it. Gender should play no role in you selecting what your future job may be.’’

While there will likely always be gender roles, it is important not to let them affect you while making a career choice. Women and men are equal and both deserve to live a happy life, working the job they choose to work regardless of what society may think of them.

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Gender roles affect career choices