Gender gap in the classroom

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With gender stereotypes at home and a glass ceiling in the boardroom, it seems that a battle of the sexes also exists in the classroom.

It seems that children aged between 7 and 15 still follow the gender divide. The survey from Mintel showed that while boys aged 7-15 in the UK prefer maths and science, girls of the same age favour arts and humanities subjects.

Asked which three subjects they most enjoyed at school, 49% of boys aged between 7-15 said that IT/computing was among their favourite subjects, followed by 47% who favoured sport/PE and 41% who liked maths.

For girls, however, 43% said that art was one of their favourite subjects on the timetable, followed by English (32%) and music (23%).

Looking ahead to life beyond school,there also seems to be a clear boy/girl divide when it comes to kids’ views of certain career paths. 44% of the children surveyed saidy that being a plumber/builder/electrician was “for boys”, while just 5% regarded it as a job “for girls”.

However, at least some science-related professions were viewed equally - becoming a doctor was associated as much as“for boys” as “for girls” (17% respectively). Although when it comes to teaching, the stereotypes re-emerge, with one in five children (19%) viewing teaching as a job “for girls”, compared to 16% who said the profession was “for boys”.

Jack Duckett, Senior Consumer Lifestyles Analyst at Mintel, said:

“While the UK has taken huge steps in terms of equality over the last 50 years, gender stereotypes remain apparent among today’s children and teens, as shown by their continued belief that certain subjects and professions are more suited to one gender or the other.

“As gender equality becomes an increasingly pressing issue for businesses and society alike, there are opportunities for brands to create campaigns that openly challenge these stereotypes at a young age, helping to drive further improvements in gender equality for the future.”