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Young people still see IT sector as industry for men

 

The IT sector is still very much seen as an industry better suited for men according to new research from O2 revealing the attitudes among young people. Female Entrepreneur in meeting - IT sector

A study of 2,000 young people aged four to 18, by the communications provider, revealed that industry stereotypes are still very much alive.

47% of respondents aged between 11 and 18 said the tech sector is more suited for men. Only 4% thought that women were better suited to tech jobs. Half of children aged four to 10 believe men are better suited to engineer roles.

Just under as third of those surveyed said men make better scientists. 10% said women were better suited than men for the role of scientist. In addition more than a quarter of said the role of UK prime minister was better taken by a man.

The research found that parents plays a significant role in how children perceive careers, with 84% admitting to asking their parents for career advice. 73% of those surveyed said they would like to hear from businesses about jobs in local industry sector. More than half said they have not heard from local businesses in the past year.

“It is worrying to see just how deeply ingrained gender stereotypes still are, with many young people still impacted by the archaic ideals that may have held back their parents or grandparents from rewarding roles.”

Ann Pickering, O2’s HR director and a female board member of the company, said: “It is worrying to see just how deeply ingrained gender stereotypes still are, with many young people still impacted by the archaic ideals that may have held back their parents or grandparents from rewarding roles.”

Pickering drew attention to the fact that more than half of the four to 10 year old boys surveyed thought girls were more suited to jobs such as hairdressing, nursing and being a nanny.

O2 recently partnered with charity Speakers for Schools, which works to give UK children access to talks given by industry leaders. Robert Peston, founder of Speakers for Schools, said: “These are shocking findings. It is vital that gender should have no bearing on what our young people choose to do in life.”