EOC urges girls to break into male-dominated careers

The
EOC has today launched a campaign to encourage more schoolgirls to consider
careers in traditonally male-dominated industries, such as the IT sector.

The
NOP poll of 11- to 16-year-olds, conducted for the EOC, shows that less than a
fifth of young people taking foundation GNVQ in IT this year are girls, whereas
girls make up half of those taking health and social care.

The
report also shows that boys typically describe computers as exciting and fun,
while girls see them as a useful homework tool.

"Working
women are still concentrated in a narrow range of occupations – all at the
lower-paid end of the labour market. We will not get true equality in the
workplace unless measures are taken at school to encourage young people to pick
from all the options available," said Julie Mellor, chairwoman of the EOC.

"Many
employers have told us that they are keen for the EOC to tackle this issue.
They want to be able to recruit from a wider pool of women and men. They feel
there are limits to what they can do at the point of recruitment, when choices
made at an early age have already sent young people off along career
paths."

By Paul Nelson

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