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  • Writer's pictureRichard Emmanuel

Breaking Gender Stereotypes: Education and Career Choices

There is a common saying that 'what a man can do a woman can do better', but judging from societal gender roles bias, do we truly believe in this saying?

Whenever you hear someone is an engineer or a doctor what usually comes to mind is that the said person is male. This is one of the gender stereotypes that society has created. 

What are Gender Stereotypes?

According to Parent Lab, gender stereotypes are 'oversimplified and overgeneralized beliefs about what men and women are like and what behaviours are expected from them or considered appropriate'. For example, a boy whose favourite colour is pink may be considered feminine and contrary to what is expected. 

Where do these Gender Stereotypes come from?

Gender stereotypes have nothing to do with our DNA, that's for sure. They originate from cultures and traditions. Children learn gender norms from family, friends, media, schools, and religious institutions. Gender stereotypes can negatively impact all genders, particularly among young individuals. 

Boys and girls are often subjected to gender stereotypes regarding appearance, behaviour, and play. Infancy marks the beginning of the formation of socially acceptable and frequently unconscious ideas.

How have Gender Stereotypes Impacted Educational and Career Choices?

Gender stereotypes can present themselves in subtle but substantial ways in the educational system. Teachers may unwittingly promote gender norms by complimenting males for their intelligence and girls for their behaviour, resulting in inequalities in self-perception and confidence. Girls may be discouraged from participating in athletics or robotics, but boys may suffer criticism for expressing emotions or pursuing artistic pursuits.

As children grow older, stereotypes continue to impact their educational and career choices. Women are still underrepresented in STEM areas, leadership roles, and other male-dominated industries due to social hurdles and biases. Similarly, men may feel pressured to conform to traditional masculine norms, which may steer them away from employment like nursing, education, or social work.

Can Gender Stereotypes in education and career choices be eradicated?

Well, it would certainly be difficult, but who's to say it isn't possible? These gender stereotypes have been embedded in our religious, educational and family institutions but people's views of gender roles are changing and evolving.


Here are some steps we can take to suppress societal gender roles and stereotypes;

  1. First of all, we could start by spreading awareness about the negative impacts of these gender stereotypes.

  2. Parents and caregivers can help their children by challenging established gender roles at home and encouraging them to pursue their passions without constraints. Providing strong role models and exposing youngsters to different ideas can help them extend their horizons and develop a more accepting worldview.

  3. Employers can be proactive in promoting gender diversity and inclusion at work. This includes creating policies and procedures that promote work-life balance, offering mentorship and leadership opportunities to women and other underrepresented groups, and cultivating a culture of respect and equality.

Overcoming gender stereotypes in education and employment choices necessitates a collaborative effort to fight persistent biases and build a more inclusive and equal society, and you have the power to change things.


  1. Watch this video by AMAZE org on Gender Roles and Stereotypes

  2. Watch this video by The Atlantic on how parents influence kids' gender roles

  3. Watch this Tedx Talk, It's Reigning Men: Gender Roles and How They Hurt You given by Lilia Fromm

  4. Watch this TedxYouth Talk, Gender Roles in Society, given by Ria Chinchankar


WRITTEN BY Richard Emmanuel

Richard Emmanuel is a STEM teacher and a fashion designer. During his leisure time, he works as a freelance content writer and sometimes creates poetry content on Instagram. He is passionate about mental health and human resources development. 

Want to connect with Richard? Follow and contact him on LinkedIn! 


EDITED BY 'Zulu Uwolloh

'Zulu is a writer, self-proclaimed bibliophile, lawyer, and international development professional passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities. She is also the founder of Kurerie, a digital platform, and community that amplifies the voices of youth making an impact in their communities. Kurerie educates young people on how they can become active stakeholders in the achievement of the SDGs. She is passionate about showing young people that they can change the world with the smallest actions.

Want to connect with Zulu?

Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or connect with her on Linkedin!

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