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Stereotyping, segregation and career choices in women work- based learners Linda Miller Institute for Employment Studies.

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1 Stereotyping, segregation and career choices in women work- based learners Linda Miller Institute for Employment Studies

2 21 st Century Skills, Realising our Potential (DfES, 2003) Gender gap in qualifications contributes to skills deficit – the gender gap in qualifications, particularly for older women and those who are employed part-time, contributes to the national skills deficit Intermediate level skills deficits – particular skills gaps in intermediate skills at apprenticeship, technician, higher craft and associate professional level

3 21 st Century Skills cont. Womens disadvantage linked to lack of skills – it is the governments intention to increase the skill levels of all under- represented groups in society, particularly women workers who are typically locked in a narrow range of low level manual occupations and in part-time work where training opportunities are limited.

4 Why are women not flocking to take up these opportunities? Self-concept/gender stereotyping? Or more mundane reasons?

5 Younger women Less stuck in their ways and hence easier to persuade? In fact, same patterns of segregation seen in apprenticeships as in wider workforce

6 Modern Apprenticeship starts, England, 2002-03 Female share, advanced apprenticeships Occupational areaPer cent Construction1.2 Engineering2.7 Information technology and electronic services 15 Plumbing0.6 Childcare99.0 Source: Miller et al. (2004), Occupational segregation, gender gaps and skill gaps, Manchester: EOC

7 Changing careers Leave school, get job Over time, recognise you could do more Leave, have family Decide to get a better job and more pay Id better re-train

8 Career theory – Gottfredson Theory of Circumscription and Compromise Super people recycle through the stages of career choice when major changes or transitions occur, based on their self-perceptions and their self-concept Age3-56-89-1314 plus ElementsLittle vs. bigGenderSocial class and intelligence Personal interests, values and competencies CharacteristicAdult rolesSex typePrestigeField of work

9 Ive decided to train Too old for apprenticeship funding ETP and TtG funding stream for WBL only for those in employment ETP and T2G funding stream (until recently) only up to L2

10 Are employers recruiting women? Some, but not all The potential employer said, This is a job for strong men. We dont want women coming in here with their hormones. You cant keep your nails clean if you work here, you know. We want to keep this factory all men. We had a roofer ring up to advertise for an apprentice, and he said, Well I dont think my wife would like it if I had a nice young dolly bird up on my roofs.

11 Start them off young? YA programme for 14-16 year olds Training plus work placements DfES made bidders set out plans for EO Some patches of success in terms of increasing diversity

12 The effect of restricted practice on confidence Miller (1991) – two studies looking at how people make judgements of ability on novel and complex tasks First study, restricted practice with or without feedback (decision- making task so no information on performance without feedback) 2.4 1.9 1.8 2.3

13 The relationship of stereotyping, confidence and practice Individuals who are feminine stereotyped via (BSRI) want more practice

14 Conclusions Limited exposure to novel activity can diminish confidence (where can see mistakes) Feminine individuals can need more practice to gain confidence Implications for judgements of likely ability in novel vocational areas Women more likely with age to be interested in, and have confidence to try, novel areas But funding regimes militate against retraining Employers (still) loathe to offer opportunities

15 Conclusions cont. Funding only now starting to be channelled to providing routes to intermediate level awards – and data not encouraging. Job choice (at least in younger people) influenced by nature of own sex role stereotyping Is achievement of a 50:50 gender balance across occupations realistic? Given that SSCs have to set diversity targets, would be useful to examine the issue of sex- role stereotyping, self-identity and job choice more closely

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