Did you know what you wanted to do as a career when you were 13? I certainly didn’t.
Over 10 years later I still don’t.
Today I went to a Skills Show. If you’re not familiar with such an event, it was basically a big hall full of training providers promoting their courses or services.
It was aimed primarily at school age kids, not the age bracket I normally work with and to start with I was a bit out of my depth. It’s not that that I was scared of them or anything (although a bus load of kids coming at you is a bit intense!) but that I wasn’t sure what to say to them.
My opening gambit ended up being me asking them if they knew what they wanted to do after they left school and I was genuinely amazed by the amount of them that knew what sort of career they wanted to do.
I spoke to a lot of girls that wanted to do midwifery, care work or work with children. A lot of boys that wanted to do construction, engineering or IT. And one lass that wanted to be a tattoo artist. It made me think about how there still seem to be defined gender roles for career paths. There was nothing stopping those girls asking about engineering and nothing stopping the boys finding out about being a carer but that wasn’t what they wanted to do.
Now, they were only young-uns, so the job they want to do now might not necessarily be the job they want to do in a couple of years time. Or maybe it will be. Either way, I found myself thinking about the gender divide and what it means.
I decided it means nothing.
If that’s what girls want to do fine. Let them. If some of them want to do engineering then great! But it doesn’t mean that they all should want to do it.
I also feel this way about the glass ceiling debate. Maybe as a woman I shouldn’t say this but maybe the reason there aren’t loads of women in the top top jobs is because they don’t want to be there? Of course, some women do want a high flying career. Some women do want to be in government. Some woman do want to be The Boss. And they are.
But isn’t it also okay if they don’t want to? If they feel put off or like it is something they shouldn’t do then that is bad and something that needs to be improved upon. But if they don’t want the pressure or just aren’t interested then who is anyone to tell them otherwise?
I hope that in another 10 years time I might have a better idea about what I want to do. Ideally even doing it. But I can’t see it being a really high powered role: smashing the glass ceiling. It’s just not me. And that’s okay.
Toodle Pip, Charlotte x